Withdraw to lonely places

For those who too are depressed, anxious or exhausted–I’m sharing an excerpt of my journal from today.


I trust you, Lord. I’m just going to keep saying it and keep doing it until I believe it. Our beliefs follow our actions.

I’m ill today, Lord. Not physically ill though, in the way I lied and told my mother, counterpart, students and club members I threw up this morning. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. I’m depressed and anxious. There’s a spirit of fear still residing in me, Jesus, and I am at your mercy to cast it out!

I made it through two winters here already and the third is about to begin. Now I’m busier than ever and I haven’t been looking after myself and I just broke down. Had to spend a morning in the shop, aka my bed, for repairs before I could get back on the road again.

Part of living with this depression is being able to function when I’m hurting. To be able to perform at quarter capacity. Not perform well, but to simply show up and bounce along down the road of life. There are tough paths everywhere and quitting to take a new route isn’t going to make the journey easier. The scenery changes, but the trials and challenges don’t.

So it’s somewhat about pushing through the mental pain. Doing before feeling. Finishing in last place instead of taking a DNF.

Even you withdrew to lonely places, though Lord. Even you needed a day off, away from people, away from the demands and empty bellies, broken spirits and hurting bodies. Even you said “no” to people sometimes.

You withdrew to lonely places to pray. To connect with the Father. To unload and be refilled again. You knew the crowds would still be there, that there’d always be the poor, that there’d be no break in the lines of the needy.

So you talked to your father. You called him and taught us to call him, “daddy,” like a child climbing up into his lap.

I imagine you talked about your week, the masses crowding around you, those who wanted to stone you and those plotting your murder.

I imagine you asked for strength to resist your human nature’s desire to lust, lie and envy. I imagine you spent time just looking out over the hills and the trees and the water and marveled in the beauty of the creation you helped your father make, bringing Him glory in your obedience and receiving joy in return.

My battle here Lord is not against people and not against the world but against the spirits of darkness hovering here in my bedroom, sailing down the streets and slipping into pernicious corners in dark alleys of our homes and in our minds. That satan wants to kill and destroy and his workers gnaw at the edges of our souls, pushing us to abandon the straight and narrow path and throw off Jesus’ light yoke, trading it for a necklace of chains.

I ask for the freedom of doing your will. I ask for assurance that everything will be ok in the end. I ask for your yoke pulling me out of bed each morning to go at it alive and free and in the joy of being known by you, my creator.

It’s the afternoon. The shops are going to close soon and I need to pick up some things for the Halloween party tomorrow. Then, I need to print some stuff for the seminar, then I’m going to continue this day with you, withdrawn to the lonely corner of my bedroom, a few more hours of worship, the smile of your countenance on me, the warm raindrops of your mercy washing things anew, and the rest of being in your presence.

Be near oh God! Amen.


  1. Hi Luther. I have been struggling with my own depression today. It had been burying me. It’s ruined a chunk of my evening. Then I read your journal. Here you are, doing God’s work in a land where few are willing to go. God’s heart, in seeing you dedicated to His people, must surely overflow with immeasurable joy. But still. .. you are weary. And the fruits of your labor may not always be boldly obvious to everyone. .. and maybe not you. But you have done marvelous things. God would ask you to rest and restore. Don’t feel regret for needing renewed strength and vision. We all need that. There is no shame in that.
    I pray tonight that you do not feel alone but actually feel that you are in good company with those who are trying to make a difference in this world. May you wake tomorrow and see the sun/Son piercing through the clouds of doubt and giving strength beyond weekday you asked for. Blessings, Jane


    1. Thank you Jane for the message. Yes, some time for renewed strength and vision is needed! Thanks for your words! I hope you too are finding time for rest and renewal.


  2. Dear Luther,
    I am praising God for you today, totally amazed by the gift of expression God has placed within you! You have courageously and articulately opened your soul to the world – thank you for reaching out, and for putting into words what many people are feeling but are unable to express . I can only imagine how God will use these words to speak to others in the darkness of depression. Your trials are honest and real; yet you are speaking life and giving hope to others. I believe God is preparing you for a mighty ministry through your gifted hand of writing. You are truly God’s vessel Luther, doing His work, suffering as He suffered, and I know that this suffering will not be in vain. Even in the darkness of your pain, you speak words of truth and hope. I think of so many struggling with depression who have no hope. God surely hears your heart Luther – He is surely near!

    I am in prayer for you today: Heavenly Father, Hem Luther in – behind and before; place Your hand upon Luther so that wherever he goes and whatever he does, he will be accompanied by your presence. (Ps 139:5-10) Lord, You have summoned Luther by name and HE BELONGS TO YOU! When he passes through the waters, be with him. When he passes through the rivers, do not let him be swept away. When he walks through the fire, do not let him be burned. And when Luther emerges from these trials, let him know that You are the Lord, that You are his God, that You are the Holy One of Israel and that You are his SAVIOR! (Is 43:1-3) Fulfill every good purpose in Luther’s life and every act prompted by his faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be GLORIFIED in his life. (2 Thess 1:11-12)

    Much love to you,
    Deb Stine
    Moms in Prayer


  3. How beautiful is this? I was “sick” last week, or mentally sick as I tell the locals here where I serve as a PCV. As a fellow volunteer and friend has explained the honeymoon phase of being a volunteer is over for me and I don’t know how to pick up the pieces, I don’t know how to let God pick up the pieces. I am a mess but it is a comfort knowing that not only do I have a high priest who can relate to my woes: “Even you withdrew to lonely places, though Lord. Even you needed a day off, away from people, away from the demands and empty bellies, broken spirits and hurting bodies. Even you said “no” to people sometimes.” But you as well Luther. Thank you and keep me in your prayers.



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