#9.2 – The Wisdom of Suffering [James 1:1-18] A Testimony
“Apart from me you can do nothing.”
These were the words that I heard in the distance of my spirit as I lay in my bed wondering. Wondering about everything I had lost and everything I could not understand. Wondering about why this was happening, and why I was so alone. Wondering where all of it had gone and what I was to do. Wondering why on earth I should even get up. Just Wondering…
“Apart from me you can do nothing,” He said. “Nothing.” “Nothing.” “Nothing.” The words began to beat on my cold heart, awakening me from a cold and depressed sleep. “Nothing.” “Nothing.” “Nothing.” “Dylan, You can do nothing, apart from me.”
It was true. Every single word. For the first time in my life I had Nothing and could do Nothing. I was Completely Powerless. Completely Alone. Completely Nothing. Man it was tough. Really. I can only try and describe what it felt like, because it was so other-worldly. Something you can really only understand once you have experienced it. But I will try anyway.
It was not painful, but at the same time excruciating. Not visible, yet completely real. As if I was in a parallel universe all of a sudden. One in which all the normal rules did not apply. One in which every experience was somewhat focused on showing me one thing: “Apart from me you can do Nothing.” Hence, every attempt I made to do anything significant failed. I felt so powerless. So weak. So insignificant. So worthless. My whole identity, that was built on purpose, achievement, and accomplishment, was now all of a sudden, not functioning. It was gone! In effect, I was “Identityless.” A ship without a rudder. A car without a steering wheel. I had no direction and no purpose. Like I was floating in darkness. I cannot tell you how strange it was. It was the first time in my entire life that I had nothing, could do nothing, and could see nothing. Nothing at all. No engine. No drive. No motion. Just Nothing. Not death, not life. Just Nothing. Like an Empty Void of Nothing.
And what was especially difficult was that I did not understand it, and therefore I could not explain it to anyone either. I had nothing and in many ways, no-one. I had no idea where I was, what was going and why this was happening. I really had no idea of anything at all. It was terrible to say the least.
But then, while floating in the midst of that void of nothingness, while lying in my bed, those words were like a beam of light piercing through the thick black darkness: “Without me you can do Nothing!” It was the voice of my Lord. The voice of my God. And He was speaking to me. Speaking into my nothingness. And in my state of confusion, His words instantly gave me direction. They gave me a point of reference. A single sentence to hold onto. “Without me you can do Nothing.”
And for the first time in my existence, the words of Christ became “Life” to me. Real life. From within that void of nothingness, his words gave birth to life. They became my life. That which gave me life. That which gave me energy. That which gave me the strength to get up.
So I did…