Depression is not something a lot of people like to talk about or reveal. I’m not talking about the light stuff. This is the deep down, “I just don’t want to live anymore,” kind of depression. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been through it. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Through a testimony I gave recently, other people have approached me about their own depression. It is more prevalent than we like to think. The saddest thing about it is that because we hide what we are going through we miss the opportunity to connect with others that can help us. From my own experience, I’ve found that once you’ve gone down the darkest path possible in your thoughts it never completely leaves you. If I’m not careful it has its moments when it passes by reminiscently. Caressing my thoughts and darkening the edges of a forced smile. In a moment futility hits me… then I shake it off the best way I know how – with God.
As a Christian, I deal and have dealt with my dark moments with the Word. That double-edged sword that cuts deep both ways. Cutting the enemy/sin and also yourself with its pure and unadulterated TRUTH. A truth that acts like an ambient light, making no room for shadows. My prescription is a hearty daily dose of the bible. Nothing else has worked for me. Not even just reading other Christian books or listening to motivational speakers. It’s the word that He passed down to us to help in all our seasons that has proven my most powerful pill. In Philippians 4, Paul tells us not to let anything bring us down but to give everything to God so that His peace that passes all understanding would guard our hearts and minds. He especially tells us to think on good things; the noble, pure, lovely… The bible does that for me. It keeps my thoughts on the right things.
I recently read Esther and her story encouraged me. Here is a woman who did not know that God was placing her in a position of crucial importance and timing. Where her access to her husband, saved a whole race of people. Even knowing she could die, by just trying to speak to her husband – the king, she still went forward saying:
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.
Esther 4:16 (AMP)
“If I perish, I perish.” Wow! that line hits me to the core. Esther was dealing with a situation where if she did nothing she would die, maybe not immediately but eventually, and if she did something she could still die. A seemingly hopeless situation. However instead of miring herself in depression, she stepped out despite her circumstances to make a difference. When I read accounts like this I feel strength and hope. Also, a giddiness bubbles up from right beneath my breastplate that makes it hard not to smile ruefully. In those moments, my thoughts leap into thankfulness and wonder.
How wonderful is our God! How excellent are His grace and mercy! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies so powerful is your might! Who shall I fear? on earth??? No one compares to you!
I understand how David could burst into song because of his God. Even when he was going through the worst moments of his life, he thought of God and rejoiced! As I wrote in “Women of Blood” the only audience you should really care about is the one On High. For Him, even when I’m feeling low I put a little bounce into my step, a little jig in my hips, and a smile on my lips that says everything is and will be ok. Soon my spirits are up. I want God to look at me and know that I am thankful for everything.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
Psalm 40:16 (ESV)