You know that shot of Gollum at the end of The Return of the King where he reaches for the Ring as he falls, slowly, eternally into the fires of Mount Doom? Even with his dying breath, it is what he desires more than life itself. The Ring encapsulates his heart's desire, and even death cannot distract him.
So here it is, thirty days into January, the Endless Month. The Month of Cold. The Month of Dark. The Month That Will Never End. Ever. February, like the Ring, stays just out of my reach. I reach for it, struggle for it, hope for it, watch it dance just beyond my fingertips for so long, and yet.
I have never been diagnosed with any specific depression disorders, but I do know that as January repeats itself every day for eternity, I lose hope of ever seeing spring again, of ever feeling warm again. Obviously, the calendar tells me a different story, but I'm talking about the feelings that accompany the long, dark days.
You know what? Amazingly, February always comes. And then March. And then April. That's just how it works.
I was thinking today about the Israelites, years ago, waiting for so long for their Messiah, getting heartsick as years and decades and centuries passed. And now today, as we wait for His second coming. Do seeds of doubt ever blossom in our mind? Does it ever feel like year after year after century passes, and still, and still, and still?
But what kind of Christian doubts? Honestly? *sheepishly raises hand*
I admit to flashes of uncertainty. What if? What if it's all just a big cosmic joke? What if I've placed my trust and my hope in a grand illusion? I doubt very much I'd win any awards in heaven for my implicit trust. Because I've certainly tarnished my crown with a few too many seeds of doubt.
But one thing always calls me back. No matter how dark the days, no matter how massive the cloud of doubt that hovers over my head, the concept of God's faithfulness won't let me lose hope entirely. Even when I lose sight of Him, He never loses sight of me. When I question His very existence, He stands patiently by and coaches me through it. When I just can't see the next step ahead, He picks me up and carries me through the murk of gloom and doom.
I love that old hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, oh God, my Father. Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
If I only know where to look.
I want to be like Gollum. Not really the words you'd typically expect to hear; most people who have read the books or seen the movie would shudder to say those words in that order. But seriously, I do. I want to have such implicit longing, such undeterred devotion to the One Person that really matters, that even in the throes of doubt, despair or death, I still strain to reach the object of my heart's desire.