The Cold Dark Undertow

Down into the icy depths you plunge,
The cold dark undertow of your depression,
Even your memories of light made strange,
As you fall further from all comprehension.
You feel as though they’ve thrown you overboard,
Your fellow Christians on the sunlit deck,
A stone cold Jonah on whom scorn is poured,
A sacrifice to save them from the wreck.

But someone has their hands on your long line,
You sound for them the depths they sail above,
One who takes Jonah as his only sign
Sinks lower still to hold you in his love,
And though you cannot see, or speak, or breathe,
The everlasting arms are underneath.
~Malcolm Guite “The Christian Plummet”

Christians, like biblical Jonah, often struggle with living in obedience to God’s Word and plan. We become discouraged and depressed, filled with misgivings and a lack of understanding. This is complicated by our need to “put a good face on it,” especially among other Christians who seem to not feel the brokenness of the dark undertow.

Christ Himself becomes the sacrifice thrown overboard, as Jonah was, to plumb the depths and allow us to rise beyond peril and danger. He struggled too, He became discouraged and overwhelmed with the responsibility placed upon Him, but He remained obedient to His Father’s will.

We cannot fall lower than where He descended; He is there to lift us up. He knows how deep we might sink and He knows exactly what it takes to push us back up to the light.


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