Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alone in the Dark?

"How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?" -- Psalm 13:1

Some people believe the words "Christian" and "depression" should never appear in the same sentence. They believe that a person whose Bible proclaims, "The joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10), should know better than to be unhappy.

It makes you wonder, though, if that was the case with William Cowper, author of such classic hymn lyrics as "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform" and "There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins." Severe depression forced him early in life to abandon his career in law. If not for the patient mentorship of John Newton (composer of "Amazing Grace"), who knows how low Cowper's depression would have taken him?

Charles Spurgeon struggled mightily with depression, particularly after a false cry of "Fire!" set off a stampede in his packed-house congregation, killing several in attendance. He often talked about hearing his "own chains clank" as he delivered his sermons, comparing his feelings to a chariot stuck in the mud.

King David, we know, cried out in melancholy many times through the psalms. Paul, who wrote, "God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus" (2 Corinthians 7:6), certainly knew seasons of darkness and despair. Biblical figures such as Moses, Job and Elijah went through overwhelming valleys of doubt and fear.

So if either of you find yourself under the heavy weight of depression today, grappling to work free but not always able to win the fight, you're not alone in your struggle. Your suffering is not unknown by God. Your dark circumstances are not beyond His power to heal, restore and redeem.

As you seek God for relief, take a measure of comfort in your good company.



Veggie Mom said...

I've never had too much of problem with being down. I think that's because I have so many positive things in my life. And my girls are coming home Tuesday! Yippee!!

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

Good reminder!

K Storm said...

It is important to remember that we aren't all "Shiny Happy People" all the time. We are human and have human emotions and illnesses. The eternal joy is still there when we are unhappy and depressed.

HEATHER said...

Lovely post.

Carrie said...

That is a great piece! Just because you're Christian doesn't mean suffering is absent from your life.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Deanna, thanks for your post. I think many Christians do think that they should never be depressed, or down. That is just not the case. I hope that someone struggling with depression, is brought to your blog, and that they will see the hope!

Anonymous said...

*THANK YOU!* for such a beautiful reminder! (((((HUGS))))) sandi