Let me premise this blog by stating that I’m not a psychologist, or expert in mental health. I did however stay at the Stonewall Jackson Resort this week, which may qualify me in some manner as much as some of those “experts” that I’ve heard speak. I understand depression from the victim’s point of view, being one who has struggled with it for years and since salvation in 1996 have not mastered, but managed my own through relying on God’s grace to pull me through. That sounds all pious and religious, but in truth just means that I quit trying to fix it on my own and began asking God to help me through it. Each time was different, sometimes were darker than others. It varied from a nightlight of hope to a dimly lit room, it was never utter darkness for me, because in Christ I truly did have light, even though it was sometime shrouded by the trouble of the day.
If you struggle with depression this blog will not fix you, its 710 word after all. How far can that take you? What I hope it does is to “turn up the light” a little in your life today. J
.B. Phillips, author of Your God is Too Small, dealt with depression all of this life. In one of his many letters he offered this comment to someone struggling with depression. “As far as you can, and God knows how difficult this is, try to relax in and upon Him. As far as my experience goes, to get to even a breath of God’s peace in the midst of pain is infinitely worth having.”
For me that “breath of God’s peace” was my nightlight in dark times. In my heart I knew that “God had this.”, my head however would sometimes join the liars club and berate me with thoughts of defeat and discouragement. That’s Satan at his finest isn’t it? If you’re a Christian he can’t get into your heart, because Christ dwells there. So in the very core of you there is always a light. But in your mind, where the world can seep in, Satan has free reign to beat his drum and loud and long he will until you’re spiraling into the direction of depression.
So how do you spiral out?
Again… I’m not an expert. This is what works for me. I place myself in the winner’s circle with those who God’s shown me battled depression.
- The woman of Samaria in John 4 who came to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the judgmental eyes of society and met the one true Judge, who didn’t condemn her but loved her out of the lifestyle she as in.
- Moses wanted to die in Exodus 32:32, asking God to blot his name out of the book because of what the children of Israel had done with the golden calf – yet, he was the greatest leader ever known.
- 3. Elijah sat down under a juniper tree in I Kings 19:4 and told God “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life.” The same Elijah who had brought fire down from Heaven.
- 4. King David, my hero in the faith in Psalm 6:6 said I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
- 5. The widow in I Kings 17:12 who had come to the end of her finances and was prepared to die a death of starvation with her child, when God sent an endless supply of provision.
The overcomers club! There were times that they had self-inflicted depression and other times it came from the outside, just like mine. But God brought them through! None of them were perfect, their sins rivaled the worst, and yet God’s mercy and grace is shown all over them. It is in those stories that I come to the “Why not me?” phase of healing. If God did it for them, why not me? They were just ordinary, messed up people, just like me.
I’m not an expert at much, but I may be nearing the benchmark of an expert in failures. But… God’s got me covered. Amen!