Friday, May 13, 2005
Even though I feel as if I’ve been on a roller coaster lately, I’m not going to complain. Today is a good day. And even the bad days that have come this week have brought me to new understandings.
They’ve also shown me that when I’m in the misery of despair, if I choose to seek God’s counsel, He will speak to me. God gave us free will and so the first thing we must realize is that God will not force Himself on us. We must make the choice.
Most of us would do just about anything to flee the feelings of depression or anxiety. Too often, we’ll rush toward something else for comfort – it may be in money, careers, possessions, land, corporations, or other investments. It may even be in the intangible realm of family. Those things don’t last. God’s word does.
The bottom line is that in order to escape the darkness, you have to know where to look for the light. Oh, it’s there. It may only be a tiny pinpoint in the shadows. It’s the Bible on the shelf.
That is where you will find hope. Most bibles contain reference tools to direct us to those scriptures. But there are times when looking through a concordance just isn’t going to work. It’s hard to see the small print as tears overwhelm us, and harder still to even open the book, if our bodies are wracked with deep, soul-wrenching sobs.
The best way is to know where those scriptures are. A wounded spirit can find comfort in the Psalms as the writers’ words cry out from the darkest of places. Do you know which ones?
Other resources can help. It may be an inspirational book that has spoken to your heart. Or it may be a Godly self-help book that touched your soul. These too can guide us – as long as the path leads to the Truth of God’s Word.
For me, I’ve copied devotions onto my laptop. I no longer print out things like this because I’ve found that when I’m lost in the darkness of depression, I can’t remember where I put them.
I have a folder named “Spiritual Things.” It contains a lot of stuff, but I know that I can find something that will comfort me. Folders and documents are organized in such a way that I know I can find words of wisdom and guidance. It’s very important for me to mention that the things I seek are those that are totally based on God’s word. They contain scriptures I can then look up on my laptop.
Then, when the tears have slowed and my body is no longer shaking, I find comfort in turning the worn and heavily marked up pages of my Bible. There’s evidence there of God’s presence in my life. I know that for sure because the notes I’ve made document all He’s shown me before. So not only do I find the light of God’s Truths, my faith increases with the knowledge of how my Father has been faithful to me in the past. There is security in that.
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety and searching for encouragement or comfort, please leave a comment or email me. I’d love to share the Truth of God’s love with you.
I’ll leave you with Paul’s words of encouragement to the Ephesians (“The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language,” by Eugene H. Peterson)
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!