“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” ~ C.S. Lewis
We could probably all tell stories of friends, relatives, acquaintances, or co-workers that we know who have, at one point or another in their lives, been in deep despair. Because of their despair, that may even have attempted suicide since they did not believe that there was anything for which to live.
Despair is an awful reality and one that afflicts many. I think that C.S. Lewis hits it on the head as well. Despair is born when people look for comfort rather than for truth. We are a fragile people. But, we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for being. We need to know the truth about things. Once we find the truth, we can deal with it.
We often talk about the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. There are other “gifts”, if you will, from a different spirit. The devil prowls the earth doing all that he can to ensnare souls so that they will not return home to the Lord. The devil’s bag of tricks, his “gifts” include things such as hate, apathy, indifference, racism, ridicule, and despair.
God does not want us to despair, the enemy does. If we look to God in times of trouble and ask Him to reveal the truth of the situation in which we find ourselves, God will give us what we need. He will also give us the grace to endure. Our enemy, on the other hand, will reinforce our despair by showing us even darker and gloomier scenarios in which we will find ourselves. His goal? To get us to despair totally so that we reject God.
There were a number of people, I would dare say, who were on the cusp of total despair when they saw Jesus laid in the tomb. They had placed all their hope in Him. They felt that all was over, all was lost. They didn’t look for the truth of what was happening and, therefore, walked away.
I also would dare say that there are still people who have succumbed to despair and have given up. They quit looking for the truth. However, the truth is out there and it might be incumbent upon us to proclaim it to them.
We wait in the darkness and gloom of this Holy Saturday to shout out the ultimate truth that Jesus Christ destroyed death and restored life. Let that proclamation ring from the mountain tops and show in the manner in which we live our lives. In that, there is no room for despair.
FAITH ACTION: Join the Church as it silently waits for the celebration of the resurrection. Do so with joyful anticipation fueling your soul for you know the truth that comes from God and that truth has set you free.