“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
(Henry David Thoreau)
Almost all of us have had a time in our life when we have felt, well…desperate! And who hasn’t felt a time when that desperation hasn’t been in the quiet of our own minds. Knowing that others experience similar feelings can serve as an encouragement to each of us that life holds moments of great joy, and also moments of great sorrow for all. Yet, when those ‘moments’ of quiet desperation turn to months and months to years, one could be left to lament that their ‘song’ of joy has been left on a permanent ‘mute’ mode.
In those ‘desperate’ times in my life, surprisingly I have taken comfort in a statement of the Lord spoken to Adam upon his expulsion from the garden.
“…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life…In the sweat of thy face, shall thy eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it thou wast taken: for dust thou art: and unto dust thou shalt return. “ (Gen. 3:17, 19)
The reason I have taken comfort in this scripture is that it gives me assurance that this life, with all of its thorns and thistles, has a purpose and that God designed this world as a testing ground. It gives me confidence that what I have to gain from my earthly life is worth it in the end because I can ‘become’ like Him who I worship if I am faithful. God himself said:
“Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.” (Gen. 3:22)
Leading a life of quiet desperation should never be if we understand the purpose of this earthly life. In those quiet dark moments, that we all experience, or will experience, the ray of the gospel ‘Son’ can bring light to our souls and we can take comfort in knowing who is in charge. We can know that our lives are full of purpose and that this life is a testing ground on how to become like Him. Indeed, God’s glory is to bring to past the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
So let out that song that, as Thoreau claims, is ‘still in us!’ Let us sing praises to our Creator, our Master and our Father! In so doing, our melody of praise will not only drive out the ‘desperation’ we feel, but it will also bless the lives of others who so desperately need to hear our song.