Despondent -- Feeling or showing extreme discouragement, dejection, or depression.
Slough -- A place of deep mud or mire.
If you have recently read John Buyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" you will surely remember the main character's encounter with the slough of despond. This was one of his first difficulties he experienced after setting out on his pilgramage. John Bunyan must have authored this from his own experience and I am sure each of us on our own pilgramages have at least at one time encountered the slough of despond. My question is why?
The apostle Paul encourages us with his espitle to the Phillipians to be joyful in all circumstances and he cleary had every right to command that to us. He being locked in prison was still able to avoid despondency and find joy in Christ. I wish we could just avoid that terrible slough but I find to often we find ourselves neck deep in the mud and mire and in danger of drowning in doubt and despair before we will even recognize that anything is wrong.
What is it that can keep us from wallowing in the mud of despondency? Is it not God's grace that destroys despondence and brings us complete contentment. God has freely given us grace according to His own purpose, and the fact that he has given us that grace leaves us with no rational reason to be despondent. Do you, despondent one, remember that grace which God has showered upon you? Can you see those pierced hands that prove the love of God toward you?
Too often the mud of that wicked slough has covered mine own eyes and I cannot see those nail pierced hands, and I cannot even be sure that they exist and at that point I am so near drowning that I fear there is no salvation from what surely awaits. However, when the Lord empowers that lsst breath to somehow form the cry "Abba, Father." At that moment the strong hand of the Lord plucks me out of the slough and rains His cleansing grace upon me to was the muck that covered my soul. The blood of the lamb purges me of the faithless filth the drove me into that slough and I rejoice. With vision restored and soul cleansed I am free again to serve the living God.
I need to go, but I will you this, call out to God to shower His grace, which we desprately need, upon us daily. This way we can will always see clearly enough to avoid the slough of despond. If the mud even starts to build on your eyes was no time walking further until your vision has been cleared.
That is all for today. Please comment if you have any thoughts.