Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eyes diffused a quickening ray.
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off; my heart was free.
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
This quote captures the essence of depression. It is a dungeon. Something that seems to be growing around us. Many of us have experienced some sort of depression at some point in our lives. Maybe it has come from a deep loss, or maybe from a hardship, or maybe it just seems to have showed up with no reason at all. Maybe it stayed for a short season, or maybe it has been your enemy for a very long time. Or maybe you have not experienced it personally, but it has affected a loved one and you have had to endure watching them feel trapped by this. It is a devastating thing to watch swallow up a loved one and rob them of who they are, robbing them of joy. It makes you feel very helpless. I have only experienced it very briefly during my pregnancies after being bed ridden and sick for months unable to care for my family, but even then,I knew it would eventually lift and there was a hope that lessened the sorrow. But I have been witness to the effects of depression in family members, the closest being my own dad. My dad has struggled with depression off and on for most of my life. And almost three years ago, only 3 weeks after my little Noah was born, I received that phone call that I never wanted to get and in many ways never expected to get. My Dad had attempted to take his own life.
Now, I have to pause after saying that. There are so many sentences that could follow that one, so many. It would probably take a couple weeks of long talks over coffee to express all that this season in my life has brought following that day. Life changed forever, but much of life continued on the same. I have never kept that circumstance quiet, but just saying it doesn't uncover all of the struggle attached to it. But this is very important for me to say. Never should there be a time that my thoughts and feelings are not weighed against what the Lord says. He is always at the end of any sentence, emotion, any weeping, any fit of anger, any feeling of deep loss or question of what to do. We aren't meant to live seperately from Him. How good it is to fall into His soothing arms and be able to trust He is working. And all those feeling of how can I help , what can I do, come down to, I just need to get on my knees and ask.
Peace I leave with you...
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your heart be troubled
and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. Psalm 94:22
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was...asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was great calm. Mark 4:37-39
The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord:
he is their strength in the time of trouble. Psalm 37:39
Wait on the Lord: be of courage,
and He shall strengthen thy heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Many are the afflictions of the righteous:
but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:19
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
We went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:12. 20
For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted,
neither has He hid his face from him,
but when he cried unto him, he heard. Psalm 22:24
There are two things that I especially see from these verses.
One is that it is very obvious that we are all going to struggle, let's face it, we live in a fallen world-God intended it to be eden, but all of us fall short. None of us can escape from hardship completely. From the beginning of mankind, people have been faced with depression, with sorrow, and the like.
And the second thing I see in these verses is that the Lord promises to be there with us. He is merciful and says He will be there with us through hardship, pain, even consequences we must face. He says he will hear our cry.
So, this is what I am praying for. I am praying for healing for my dad, and I am praying that my dad will wait on the Lord and wait for the morning. And this is what I remember of the Lord's faithfulness. When my Dad was missing, in those few short hours, family and friends were called to pray. The Lord heard those prayers and spoke very clearly to my dad, and said, this is not what I have for you. My Dad called in time for paramedics to get to him. The Lord saved his life and answered all of our prayers. There was a battle waging for my dad's life that day, one we cannot see with human eyes and that battle is ongoing. Today I am choosing to join that battle and to put on God's armor and fight for my dad when He is weak. Remember to pray for those in your life that are weary from the battle of depression. Remember to ask the Lord for His healing. It is the best way to show your love for them.