A Bit About Depression
Someone posted this question to Probe Ministries . I am glad the person from Probe knew well enough not to use the cliche "read your Bible and pray more" .
I walked my own dark valley lately. Everyone does, whether you're Christian or not. Being Christian just adds a purpose to it. At one point I was actively searching for a book on depression for Christians. They were difficult to find mind you. Almost as if Christians with depression is unheard of . I understand why one might think so. I bought 2 titles which I hope will help me understand the condition better. Ironically, I have not gotten around to reading them. I hope that's a good sign. But I will check them out one of these days regardless.
The reply from Probe was wise and practical without being simplistic. One observation I found particularly true is "an intrinsic part of happiness is having something to look forward to".
Last year I was drunk with anticipation of many things. Even though circumstances at home were none the better if not worse, I was optimistic and grateful for many simple blessings. I was able to see good in the midst of darkness. Some people call it having the eyes of faith. Do you see how having something to look forward to brings forth hope and hope stirs up faith? As these anticipated moments come and go, life begins to settle into the monotonous and along with it goes much else. So it is true when they say we should not fix our eyes on temporal things because they will fade away. Treasure them while you have them but hold them lightly in the palm of an open hand, knowing that nothing really belongs to you.
The ordinariness of daily responsibilities sucks away our sense of gratitude, wonder and anticipation. According to this article, the ability to feel deep emotion is a sign of spiritual health. Oh I can laugh or cry alright but I seem to have lost that sense of awe I used to have. (by the way, that was an excellent article. if you're interested to keep the spiritual side of your heart healthy - read it)
I don't see my time in the valley as particularly difficult in terms of circumstances. There have been worse. I don't understand this present state enough to phrase it in a meaningful way. A general lack of thirst perhaps? Thirst for what used to energize me? Of course setbacks at home adds to the melancholy. But this is the first time my faith in God doesn't seem to be helping my condition. And it scares the shit out of me. I suppose it's just a feeling on my side. One I hope will soon pass. Theologically speaking, I know God is not oblivious to my predicament. He is still at work in my life. He knows I am in the valley, being sifted as wheat. He is not impotent nor unwilling. I'm just not in the right frame of mind to see things clearly now. At times like this when my faith is stretched to the limit, theology does help keep me in check till heart-revelation takes over, which I hope will be soon.
I can only say that I will continue to trust God to work things out for good even though all other signs point the other way. I have staked everything on Him. There is no turning back. I am in this for the long haul. If I'm going under this time, I'm going with my eyes on my Shepherd. But I know I'll be fine. Like the Bible says, He is faithful even when we are faithless. I'll just hang on to that promise for now.
At this moment of writing, I am in a better state than before. I look forward to that burst of light when dawn breaks. But I am not as hung up on it as before for I know below are the everlasting arms. I don't see it. I don't feel it. But I know it's there. Somehow, this is a very spiritual thing. And strangely, I feel honored.