I have been struggling with seasons of deep depression for many years now. I feel as if the feeling of depression has kidnaped me and brought me deep into the bowels of the earth. A deep cave where there is only darkness. Not only that, but this cave has collapsed on me and I am unable to move. The darkness will not lift, the heavy weight of tiredness, lack of energy and numbness is all over me.
I am in this season of darkness right now. I know who I am in Christ, I know Him and am exceedingly grateful for Him. Still, I am overwhelmed by heavy darkness.
I do not know where these seasons of depression come from, I do know that the physical condition of my body plays an important role. Multiple deployments and hard living will tear a body down.
Many of the great hero’s of the faith suffered depression.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon suffered depression that was likely related to the gout that latter killed him. David writes in the Psalms about his seasons of depression. The causes of depression are vast and some are out of our control, while others result from unconfessed sin, unrealistic (or unbiblical) beliefs.
There has been so much written on depression from a biblical point of view (much of it sits on my bookshelves) I do not think I can, or desire, or even have the energy to recreate much of that here. There are two things I want to do, and that I have found to help me when the cloak of darkness covers me and drags me to its dark cave.
First, I Cry out in gratitude. Start small and work your way out. When my bones are crushed in dark despair I think of Jesus and this portion of Isaiah 53.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
At times music helps, I listen to a song that reflects my gratitude when I don’t feel like moving.
Second, I wait…
You read that right, when darkness is overwhelming, and I am covered in a deep and unrelenting heaviness, I wait.
My waiting is not without action. I carry on my tasks I fulfill what I have to do. I search my heart and seek out any sin or joy stealing habits. I limit myself to facebook once a day. I examine my heart to see if there is any habits I have been practicing that are stealing my joy. Social media can be a massive joy thief.
In my waiting I am not trying to find any solution within myself. See step one. I am crying out to God and centering my trust on Jesus Christ. I wait for His deliverance.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3
None of this is a quick fix.
I can tell you that when all feels lost. When the heavy hand of darkness pins me to the ground and my voice fails, my tears drench my bed and my heart fails within me these two steps have kept me from total despair in my darkest days.
This booklet may be helpful. (affiliate link)
Much of what I thought through comes from this book as well. (affiliate link)
Do you struggle with depression? Share with me in the comment section.