Choosing Despair: Cry of the Nazgul
To the air he had returned, summoning his steed ere the failed, and now he was come again, bringing ruin, turning hope to despair, victory to death.
~On the Captain of the Nazgul, The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 6~
The Nazgul: The Creation of the Ring Wraiths
The men of Middle Earth fell prey to the temptation of power, a prowess that would enable those gifted such, the ability to rule over their brethren. This was the deceptive guise in which Sauron presented unto nine. Those same nine took the power offered them and surrendered to it.
In the end, the very thing that they had lusted for so badly twisted their minds. It corrupted them from the inside out, transforming them into the perfect puppets for an evil master who was bent on the submission of all.
The Thrill of the Chase
From the very beginning of Sam and Frodo’s journey to Mordor, an ominous shadow hangs over them. This pressing darkness, were it to catch up with them, would swallow them whole. For in finding the hobbits, the Nazgul would surely kill them and take their prize…the one ring.
These soul-less entities have no mercy or compassion. They do not rest. They have no need for food, water, or sleep. The Black Riders are very much like ghosts. They move over areas swiftly, perhaps seeming to travel on air. Mortal weapons seem unable to phase them.
The Nazgul haunt them, literally following their every move. Stalking the fellowship, it is no wonder that they have some close shaves. Fueled by their desire for the one ring, these lifeless husks are wandering spirits who do the bidding of their greatest enemy. Even more frightening, the more Sauron’s power grows, so does theirs tenfold.
Emptiness of Despair
Why is it then that even the most stout-hearted of men in Middle Earth are powerless against these foes? To cut to the chase, it is the powerlessness of their own souls. It is that paralyzing feeling you get when things are beyond your control.
This experience is something that often tends to happen to us when we commit wholeheartedly to our relationship with Christ. The more we pray, the more active we become in church, the more we read His word the more susceptible we can become to doubt as we begin to examine our faith.
There is nothing more disheartening than being pressed with questions or finding yourself asking a question to which you cannot find an answer. This is especially true when it comes to our faith.
“Sometimes prayer, meditation, and contemplation are ‘death’ – a kind of descent into our own nothingness, a recognition of helplessness, frustration, infidelity, confusion, and ignorance.”
~ Thomas Merton ~
It is often when our souls are laid bare and we reflect upon our transgressions that we begin to despair. Likewise it is when we go examining our faith too that we can be riddled with doubt as we address some of the most difficult questions.
Focusing On Nothing
When we fixate on things, we tend to forget the real focus and very foundation of our faith… Christ Jesus. If Jesus is not at the center, or the very heart of our beliefs…then we can allow ourselves to forget the most important thing.
We belong to Christ! It is through His blood alone that we acquire our salvation! It is with, in, and through Him alone that all things are possible!
No one else on this earth, no other power on this earth can save us.
The Ring Wraith’s Lesson
“Trusting in your own strength alone leads to despair and defeat.”
What The Bible Says About Despair
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed