“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God”
It’s easy to look back and see the places that I would so quickly want to forget and release from memory, and recognize what went wrong or at least how I could have coped in a better fashion. They are the places that were dark, not just dark, enough where it was hard to see twenty feet in front of me, the ones that went pitch black. A place where my hope, my passion, and my purpose where severely challenged and significantly compromised. A place where regardless of what I tried to do, I was unable to get out. They are the places where I reluctantly admit that I was in some form, depressed.
I am not the type of person that readily admits my feelings. I have always managed to hold within myself emotions that so desperately want to get out. I am also the type of person that often tends to offer a personal challenge rather than a compassionate hug. In this struggle, depression, which in many cases feels as though it is the very struggle for oneself, I offer this hope: God truly wants you and desires you just as you are right now.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” – Ps 30:5
Depression is a destructive element that can creep into our lives, and if left unchecked and unchallenged, can wreak havoc on our spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Most of us know this all too well from experience. It cannot only disrupt the way we interact with one another and our daily lives, it can affect the way in which we interact with our Lord and Savior. It is never a place we choose to be and always a place we want to leave. It is a far too easy place to fall into and a seemingly impossible place to climb out of. That is, when we attempt to climb on our own.
It’s a Lie!
Depression manages to deceive us from the inside out. Often it stems from a recognizable problem or situation, but many times it can quietly and slyly appear in our life. It can take many forms: distraction, anger, emotional distance, complacency, hopelessness, and defeat. It can speak many wounding lies: “you’re alone, unwanted, useless, hopeless and lost.” They are lies that speak counter to what God has spoken as truth.
It can shake the very core of what Our Lord established for us on the cross, but it was on that very cross that Christ defeated that which attempts to deceive us.
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God for His own sins! But He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all”
How can I find Him?
Overcoming depression is not always a simple fix. I am not a certified counselor, and do not profess to be one. I merely want to encourage you in the fundamentals of the Faith in order to combat the destructive nature of this condition. We must first and always seek the power of God and His peace in a place of struggle.
“But you O Lord are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I laid down and slept; I awoke for the Lord sustained me.”
There are three simple principles in this passage that can practically guide us to the road of overcoming:
1) “But you O Lord are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head” – This passage instructs us to recognize the Lordship of God in our lives. We must, pursue and persist after God in times of depression. We must fervently defend the place that God has in our hearts in minds. We must do all that we can to defend the Truth as it directly applies to us by reading and meditating on the Word of God.
2) “I cried to the Lord with my voice” – Never stop asking Him for help. If you feel as though you have taken the last possible step you can take after Him, take one more. Please reader hear me, (though I am also writing to myself) if you fail to continue chasing after the Lord when you are in a place of desperate need, you will never find your way out.
3) “I laid down and slept; I awoke for the Lord had sustained me” – You must rest. Depression is not overcome by activity, being merely put aside for another time. Jesus has called those who are weary and heavy laden, promising rest for their souls. We are called to rest in the promise of His Word. What can this practically mean? Take time for just you and God and the desires He has placed on your heart.
Depression is not something to be simply brushed aside and written off. It is a struggle we must determine to persist in. Struggle is proof that we have not yet been conquered. It is God’s plan and purpose for our lives that we might find peace in all of the situations that we find ourselves in. God gave us the Word, not simply for the times that it is easy to read and understand, but for the times that we feel as though we cannot find our next step forward. Find Him, cry out to Him, and Rest in Him and you will find yourself on the path to the cross that bears the name of Christ and the redemption that it carries.
We at the Deeper Devotion Team are fully concerned with your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. It is our desire to see you grow fully into the man or woman that God has called you to be. Depression can be a serious issue if you feel you need further help please contact us via e-mail and we will help you locate more resources that are available to you. Please remember that you are not alone.