Songs In The Wasteland: Hope

Daniel Ferguson continues our Advent series ‘Songs in the Wasteland’, sharing some reflections from his journey through this year and his struggle with mental health.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel

This year has been like no other. It feels like everyone has struggled along the way. Personally I have felt the rollercoaster of emotions like so many others have.

I’ve felt great Joy. We had the joy of our son Ezra being born! He is a gift, utterly beautiful and has filled us with even more love than we thought possible. I’ve felt tired. I know that a newborn will always bring a sense of tiredness, but it’s gone further than simply that. I’ve felt fatigued as this year has gone on, felt in so many ways ‘tired’ of the fact every day and week has been so familiar. I’ve felt a captive in many ways. A captive of this crisis, a captive of my own mind, a captive of 2020.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been hopeful and joyful moments along the way, but I know I’m not the only one who has felt low at moments, a captive of the circumstances we find ourselves in, and honestly – I’ve felt far from God at times.

I suffer from depression and this year certainly hasn’t helped with that. Yet, in the midst of the darkness of my mind and the darkness of this year – is there hope?

I truly believe there is. I’m not sure where I would be without this hope and I am so thankful that I do have hope. My hope is found in Emmanuel. My hope is found in Jesus.

Emmanuel means “God with us” and that’s where I have found my hope. I have found hope in the fact that God is NOT distant, far removed and untouchable. In fact, he is the opposite. He is close, he is near, he is present and he is WITH US. This is my hope. Life has been a struggle this year and I wonder if it has been for you too? This hope in Jesus doesn’t mean everything suddenly becomes perfect in my life or yours. However, it does mean that we are not alone – there is someone there to lift us when we fall, there is someone there to restore our broken hearts, there is someone to breathe fresh life into our tired bodies and fresh hope into our weary minds. This is what Jesus brings to me and I know he wants to bring this to you.

Like this famous carol says, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel.”
This is a prayer for us this year. We may have felt captive, we may have felt imprisoned in our circumstances and perhaps even in our minds, but there is hope and that hope is found in Emmanuel – Jesus.

Daniel is married to Becky and they have two kids – Zoe & Ezra. They live in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, where Daniel is the Youth Pastor at Westhill Community Church. Daniel is also the founder of THERE IS HOPE – a mental health awareness movement; and of JOYFUL – a musical vehicle to ignite hope & joy in a world of fear & pain.

Crystal Cryer

Crystal Cryer originally hails from Oregon, but now claims Scotland as home. She is the National Coordinator for 24-7 Prayer Scotland. She is also part of the Prayer Spaces in Schools Scotland team as well as the Central Church family in Edinburgh, where she is based.