The Gift of Depression

 

image courtesy of pexelsTruth be told, I haven’t been doing well. Depression weighs heavily on me, and the worst part is that I know I’m not really. It is just a feeling, suffocating the life out of me. Don’t tell me to read my Bible more, I already do. Don’t tell me to look for sin in my life, I ask for conviction and confess regularly.  Don’t tell me that I am just being lazy in not fighting the feeling, you have no idea what a seasoned warrior I am.  This isn’t a stomach bug to be overcome, it is the loss of a limb, it probably isn’t going to go back to normal. Quick fixes aren’t enough when you have lost part of your mind. Quick fixes won’t work when God has given you the gift of a handicap, this my depression. Gift, yeah, I know, I have a hard time believing it too. It is oppression, a trial, a way of life, it changes everything. But we are told to rejoice in all circumstances (not just the easy ones). We are told to stand strong in the faith (even when hope is nowhere to be found). Depression is to me what blindness to the man in John 9 was. He was blind so that he could see. That is how God works (v. 39).

Even when I get mixed up and can’t think, even when hope is gone and no relief is in sight — I know the truth. I am depressed, I am mentally sick because being so reveals this everlasting, beautiful truth; He was, He is, He will always be. In control of all things, a pure God, guiding us, loving us, delighting in us as we run this honorable race to which the point is to proclaim His holiness. This is the life-saving truth, the one that will be the source of my deepest joys, my greatest loves and my most painful tears. My illness glorifies God. Look at me now, sharing this with you. My head is aching, my body is sore, I am overwhelmed and feeling hopeless. In my past, I have been robbed of my personhood, I have been physically, emotionally, and mentally scarred, I’ve walked through the valley of death, and all but snuffed out the image of God in me, but even all these cannot silence God’s goodness and glory. He still is seen, He is present, He is my salvation. He cares for me at all times, He loves me when I am unlovable, He delights in me when I am a stinker, He will never leave me or forsake me. I hold honor and worth because I am His daughter, broken and bruised this side of life, but having been so for a glorious reason. It is worth it and I cannot forget that. God, don’t let me forget. My cross is my crown, why should I be silent about it? I refuse to feel shame, Lord, protect me from guilt. The question is not who sinned, me or my parents. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” (9:15) Thanks be to God.

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