“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5
“The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Depression is real, don’t let anyone tell you differently. But so is God, and He’s more powerful than our emotions.
I’ve heard some say all you need to do is stand up to depression and anxiety “in the Name of Jesus!” If this was a cure-all for you or someone you know, WONDERFUL! You should rejoice. As for me and many like me, however, we still struggle. We win the war today, only to have depression or anxiety rear its ugly head again, next week or next month. Is our faith lacking? Not at all; while we serve a risen Savior, we still live in a fallen world.
Don’t tell my son-in-law all he has to do is “rebuke anxiety.” He’s struggled with it for years, and while he has made great strides against it by going back to work and striving to be a great husband and father, he still fights it. He still has anxiety attacks sometimes, although he’s never given up. He continues to battle the dark.
Don’t tell me and the many thousands of Christians like me who still deal with depression that all we have to do is “pray more.” We’ll point to King David, Elijah, Jonah and others in the Bible who warred against the same demons. It’s a battlefield which has seen a thousand skirmishes, some big and some small, some easily won and others, not so much.
Maybe it’s the Lord’s way of guaranteeing I seek Him every day, I don’t know. I was in the mood to write last night, and I SO longed to pen something amazingly positive and uplifting, but my spirit was “discouraged,” as it says in Psalm 42, verse 11:
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and my God!”
Note the Psalmist doesn’t say, “I’m not discouraged, I’m a follower of God! We don’t GET discouraged, man!” No, it says, “I’m discouraged; I’m sad. Why?” There is no answer given, but rather, a call to action: “I’ll put my hope in God!”
Some days, the best I can do is say, “Lord, I’m discouraged today; I’m sad. I don’t know why this is, but I still love You. I still trust You. I still praise You.”
I guess what separates me from some is that I don’t take this crap lying down. I refuse to retreat into darkness and announce to the world, “I’m in a funk again! Please leave me be for a few hours until I can work it out!”
Ah, NO. God designed us ALL to be fighters, and if you’ve lost your fighting spirit, just wait, it’ll come back, I promise.
Normally, the first thing I do when I get my computer up and running at work is right-click Windows Media and then click “resume previous playlist.” I listen to music all day, and couldn’t fathom sitting here working for 8 hours in complete silence. I’d go nuts.
Today, however, I remembered my Friday playlist included music which, while thoroughly enjoyable, wasn’t technically enriching. So I went into a music folder called “uplifting music,” and have been listening to it all day. I want fighter songs today. I want tunes about love and life. I’ve also been reading the Bible a couple verses at a time between answering emails and phone calls, and processing paperwork. I go to the Bible Gateway website, and choose either one of the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke or John—or Psalms. That’s just MY go-to; you might have something different.
Another thing I’m doing is being honest with my wife about my struggles today. Laura, my wife, is my best friend, and expects me to be fully candid about my feelings. She can always tell when I’m down anyway, so why hide it? You may not have a spouse, or at least not have one who cares to this level, but I’d wager you have SOMEONE you can trust.
You MUST find at least one person you can reach out to. You NEED someone who will listen to you, and be there for you. Not a know-it-all who tries to “cure” you, but rather, someone who will love you, without judgment. One who will simply BE THERE. Sometimes we don’t need answers, we just need someone to listen and love us.
If you don’t have a plan in place to deal with your depression or anxiety, get one, NOW! Refuse to sink deeper into the mire! Fight it. Keep fighting, and never give up.
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3
You can take this lying down and let it walk all over you or you can fight!!!!
I choose to fight. Join me.