I have a lump on my back. It’s not a very big lump, and my doctor acted sort of surprised when I went in to see him about it last week. It wound up being nothing. Still, it was a lump, and it was in a spot where I couldn’t exactly see it, so I definitely did not consider the visit a waste of time.
I hope what am I about to say does not come out the wrong way, but I’m 99.9 percent sure it will. I do not – DO NOT – have some sort of death wish, and I have the utmost respect for anyone who has had to deal the scare of a potential malignant tumor. I am not trying to make light of any potential disease – fatal or non-fatal – that anyone may be afflicted with.
The lump wound up being nothing … but a very, very small part of me wished it had been something.
Again, I don’t mean that to say I want to die, and I’ve witnessed the effects of chemotherapy too many times to desire any part of that. Sometimes I just want a reason to stop, you know? Something that will put me on my back for a while, where no one can press me for anything or no circumstance can dictate my life. Something that will take me out of the game momentarily, where I have to be listed as “unavailable.”
I was thinking about how to convey this feeling this afternoon, and now that I’ve typed it all out, it even looks weird to me. As I went through the Bible, though, I came across plenty of other men who wanted to stop for a while. In fact, most of them wanted to quit permanently. Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Job, and Jonah all expressed an outright wish that God would take their lives. They didn’t just want a break; they wanted to be done.
It’s normal to want to stop. It’s also normal, though, to not get that chance. With the exception of Jonah, however, God not only doesn’t seem to have a problem with people expressing a desire to quit, He actually picks them up when they do. It would make sense, then, for me to be looking for a rebound of some sort. Most of the time in these seasons, though, I just keep looking for some other reason to not go on.
As with everything else since I’ve started facing up to the reality of depression, I need a change of mindset. Instead of looking for ways to quit, I need to draw on the One who gives me strength. I can’t just power through; it’s just not possible. But I can’t give up either. I do need to stop. When I stop, though, I need to be gathering for the next push.
So the lump was nothing. I guess that must mean, well, something.
It’s not time for me to stop.