For all my frequent declarations that the best in my life is yet to come, I also sometimes feel that there is nothing more for me here and so I should just disappear. These are the times when I get lost in the desert of doubts and beset by desolation. At times like these, I feel like Thomas wanting to put my finger on His side. Or like Nicodemus bedeviled by all sorts of questions. I have to restrain myself and pray, “I will not put the Lord to the test.”
Sure, I have many moments of consolation and deep spiritual joy. But just as morning follows night, moments of desolation are certain to happen. So, is life but just a zero-sum game, with consolation and desolation canceling out each other? Must I just try to weather out the storm and wait for the sunshine to come again? Is this yearning in me for eternal sunshine and unending joy for real or just one cosmic illusion?
Like Nicodemus, I turn to Jesus with my questions and my doubts. But, during moments of my desolation, His words often do not make sense. Like, be born again? Or, take up the cross? Or, be humble to be exalted and be the last in order to be first?
I grope. I search. I cling on to something familiar until this blows over.
“Should my heart not be humble, should my eyes fail to see,
Should my feet sometimes stumble on the way, stay with me.
Like the lamb that in springtime wanders far from the fold,
Comes the darkness and the frost, I get lost, I grow cold.
I grow cold, I grow weary, and I know I have sinned,
And I go seeking shelter and I cry in the wind.
Though I grope and I blunder and I’m weak and I’m wrong,
Though the road buckles under where I walk, walk along.
Till I find to my wonder every path leads to Thee,
All that I can do is pray, stay with me,
Stay with me.”