March 30, 2010

Depressions Despair

Written by Boyd Bailey

Depressions Despair… “[Elijah]… went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord’, he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors. Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” 1 Kings 19:4, 5

Depression strikes even the most spiritual of giants. In fact, those of spiritual stature are a target for depression, as it strikes indiscriminately and subtly. It attacks us when we are emotionally spent and physically fatigued. Many times after experiencing spiritual warfare you are set up for depression. You can be on a spiritual mountain top, but watch out, you are a candidate for the valley below.

It is a valley of despair between two mountains of God’s faithfulness. One day you can feel and see the mighty hand of God on your life, but then, what seems like the next day, His favor is gone. You have been a humble servant in the hand of the Lord. He has used you to mentor and disciple others for His glory, but now people seem to have become a burden. But be of good cheer, as you are later blessed with spiritual grandchildren. Your faithfulness matters.

Sometimes unwittingly others put you on a pedestal, as they think you must be just fine, because you are the mentor, the Bible teacher and the more mature follower of Christ. Disarm them of this fantasy. Your confession of being discouraged and depressed will help those around you come out of their closet of depression and despair.

Depression could be a ‘thorn in your flesh’ you will have all your life which keeps you dependent on God, or it may be temporary. You may need professional help and medication to navigate you through its immobilization of your life. But do not lose heart. God is just as real and faithful in the valley as He is on the mountaintop.

Get up and pursue God. The cloud of depression has a better chance of moving on when you get quiet before your Heavenly Father. He wants you, so allow Him to love you. He loves you for who you are, His child, not for what you do but for just who you are. Let Him love you, unconditionally and freely, without reservation and limitation.

You may need to rearrange your schedule and add blocks of days for detoxification from busyness. Stay before the throne of grace, at a friend’s lake house or a quiet spot by the beach. Lastly, let the Body of Christ love on you. You have invested all these years in others, but now is the time to withdraw some of those relational dividends.

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:2-3)

Is my faith in a funk? How can I let the Lord love on me right now? Whom can I serve?

Related Readings: Job 35:9-11; Psalm 115:1-3; Mark 15:34; Romans 7:21-25

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