"Sometimes in deep depression, in the midst of the darkest shadows, Christ appears and seems sweeter than he ever was before." (From Beside Still Waters, pg.5)
This is so true. I remember a time in the midst of my darkness when I realized that God loved me and accepted me. The sweet communion and joy and peace I had was like nothing I had ever experienced or have experienced since. It was so simple - nothing deeply theological - to know that God loved me just as I was. Even though I was sad, depressed, reclusive, weepy and extremely selfish.
Oh, how truly a great, good God I have who gave me a taste of heaven in the midst of the darkest night of my soul!
It was like the story of a Christian prisoner in an East Asian country who in the midst of torture was given a break. So he cried out to God saying, "I can't take it anymore. If they continue I will give in."
Lying on a cold metal table, shivering, he suddenly felt God wrap his large, warm arms around him and give him a wonderful hug. He felt safe - God was in that place - and he could endure again the pains of torture for Christ's name!
So take heart, in the midst of your darkness and sorrow, God uses these times to show himself greatly. Remember, when all hope seems lost, like Jacob you can say, "Surely the LORD is in this place." and "This God, even the God of Bethel, is still my God."