WHAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION
By Carolyn Dale Newell
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
Psalm 34:17 NKJV
I almost don’t recognize her. She cried, trying to make sense of what was happening. She prayed, but God felt so far away. She feared something was spiritually wrong.
She recognized the familiar symptoms: endless tears for no reason, or any reason, Loss of appetite, lack of interest in life’s activities, and loss of interest in life itself, lack of sleep, and at times, too much sleep.
That was me, one year ago. God has brought me so far from those days. Ten years had passed since my initial bout with depression. How did it happen again? I had declared victory over it. I am the strong author encouraging others, but Christ’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. Strength isn’t an immunity to depression. Maybe, that is why God wanted me to tell my story.
Depression carries an alarming stigma in the church. Many people have never been touched by depression, including preachers. Some wrongly consider depression a sin or a curse from the devil. The result can be deadly: someone stops their meds and they experience the withdraw symptom of suicidal tendencies.
Depression is prevalent in Scripture. Jessie lacked confidence in his son, David, to become king. David did not immediately take possession of the throne, still occupied by Saul. David ran for his life, like a hunted animal, from King Saul. Possibly the one good relationship David experienced was with Jonathan, Saul’s son. King David’s family was dysfunctional His children committed rape and murder amongst themselves.
King David, a man after God’s own heart, slayed giants, but he traveled many roads of despondency. We cannot consider ourselves weak if the mighty warrior, David, suffered the same emotional sting.
Elijah, a prophet, prayed for the widow’s dead son, and the boy was revived. Elijah prayed for rain, and God showered the dry land with rain after three years of drought. Elijah mocked the false prophets, putting them to shame when God licked up water with flames. Yet, Elijah ran, hiding, fearful of one woman, Jezebel. Elijah begged God to take his life. Have you been there? I have, and God ministered to me, like He ministered to David and Elijah. He will tend to your troubles also.
God cares for His hurting children. Like our focal verse says, He will deliver us from all our troubles. Not part, not some, but all of our troubles. Not in our timing, but in His. Perhaps, not the way we expect to be set free, but God’s plans exceed anything we can ask or think.
I realized I am one of many people who need to stick with anti-depressants. It is a physical condition, a chemical imbalance. I can testify that God can bring you through anything. He will make a way, when no way seems possible.
Lord, Thank You for including the weaknesses of strong men like David and Elijah in Scripture. Help me not be ashamed of depression. I need You so much during this time. Thank You for unconditional love, my Abba Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.
HIKING THE TRAIL
If you are suffering from depression, please see a doctor for help. It is not a sin. It is not a demon or a curse. It is a medical condition which likely needs medication. Perhaps, you are not the one with depression, but you feel pretty blue today. You are not alone either. God loves you, and He wants to carry your burdens.
Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.