Finding God in the Depth of Despair

Oh, to live with the wisdom and power of being known by God.

We all have one lifetime to spin around this globe, one lifetime to make the most out of life, one lifetime to make the world a better place for ourselves and our posterity.

And one lifetime to know and be known by God.

As he stood before a larger-than-typical gathering of seminary students during a weekday chapel, Dr. Hogg confirmed one of the greatest lessons of my life. He spoke with a Scottish accent and paused at just the right moments. Then he said, “It’s one thing to know about God, but something altogether different to be known by God.”

Chills shot up my arms and the back of my head.

My mind flashed back ten years earlier. It was February, 1998 and I sat alone as usual in my third-story, one-bedroom apartment. The weather was beautiful and warm, the sky was blue, and the tops of the tall, washingtonia palms beside my balcony swayed in the gulf breeze. Below, kids splashed in the pool while their parents and friends lounged on the deck surrounded by tropical hibiscus, oleanders, and splitleaf philodendrons.

I lived in paradise and spent most mornings watching the alligators, herons, and bald eagles on some of the most beautiful, well-manicured golf courses in southwest Florida. My afternoons were usually spent marveling at pelicans and dolphins while looking for sand dollars, fighting conchs, junonias and lettered olives along the white, sugar sand beaches.

I’d left everything and everyone I knew. I was 753 miles from everything familiar but I still wasn’t happy. I was living, but not thriving. And that wasn’t enough.

Prayer is a curious thing. Through prayer we talk to God. Sometimes, while we’re praying God talks back to us. We imagine ourselves communicating with the Divine and we satiate our longing souls.

But do we ever stop to consider whether God is listening?

That afternoon, I felt like I was praying to a brick wall. I tossed a few prayers into the air, but God was having none of it. The gravity of my imploding heart pulled those words in like a black hole.

“That’s not supposed to happen.” Every fiber of my being felt alienated from the God whom I’d heard about and read about.

“What if I died right then?” I was too ashamed to move, even to wipe my face. My jaws locked and my tongue stiffened.


I was utterly broken.

Finally broken.

I don’t know how Job felt when he lost everything, but it must have been something like this.

I had one lifetime to get to know God, and I’d blown it.

They say a man has to come to the end of himself to find himself. I was there, deep inside my own darkness, but even there, I clung to the faintest of light in my soul.

In the pit of despair I finally discovered “the Divine spark.”

“God, I’m so sorry I’ve sinned against you, you won’t even look at me when I pray.”

“You can save the world. But will you save me?”

Have you reached your pit of despair and want to share your experience? Join the conversation below:

Un-edited excerpt taken from the upcoming book, UN-Sustainable Development: How Biblical Insight Can Help You Resist the Great Reset.

Published by

Doug Carter

Doug Carter is a graduate of North Carolina State University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Besides teaching ethics and Bible courses, he writes about cultural issues from a biblical perspective. He'll tell you things media, politicians, and preachers should be saying, but aren't. His work has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show, WND, Western Journalism, Freedom Outpost,

6 thoughts on “Finding God in the Depth of Despair”

  1. The most wondrous word in our lives is but three letters “Y-E-S”! Well said Mr. Doug​. My “divine spark”, my “moment of surrender” was a small one bedroom apartment in St. Charles, IL; away from everyone and everything I had ever know. At the end of the battle, it was as it should have always been; just me and God. Love this post sir! Sometimes we have to lost it all so that we can gain it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doug, I feel like I’m sitting there with you in that room. Brilliantly written. I can’t wait to read the book. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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