“I’m hurting Lord – will you forget me forever?
How much longer, Lord? Will you look the other way when I’m in need?
How much longer must I cling to this constant grief?
Take a good look at me, God, and answer me!
Bring light to my eyes in this pitch-black darkness or I will sleep the sleep of death.”
- KING DAVID, The man after God's own heart
Until recently, depression was the distant relative we never talked about. To declare to want to die, a taboo – a clear sign of one that is unappreciative of the life their Creator breathed into them. A lack of faith, some may say, for a better tomorrow. A complete violation of what we have been asked not to do – worry.
And then I crossed paths with a man whose words were a plea to His creator. “I have had enough, LORD. Take my life. I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4 is where I met Elijah, the prophet that slaughtered eight hundred and fifty false prophets and rid the land of the vile men that corrupted it. This very man wanted to die, stating to be no better than those that came before him.
Psalms showed each time the psalmist cried and pleaded for God to save him, to stop turning His face away from Him, to just feel His presence with him, to answer him – to say something, anything. I felt those very words echo my own occasional state.
See, Bible character after Bible character, it started to unfold. Moses, Jonah, Job, Jeremiah and the list goes on… I started to realize that no one that ever walked with God had it easy. Often times, I’d seen the side of them that reflected someone that was always ready and fired up for life, but what about the times they felt helpless? What about the times God felt distant? What about the times, dare I say, they wanted to die? What about when their souls were downcast?
Then I thought about Jesus. He was rejected by those from his home land, betrayed by His own disciple, denied three times by the one that claimed would never leave His side, left at His lowest point, battered and bruised by the very people He was to die for, forsaken by His Father on the cross where He bore someone’s else depression, among other things. See, what He went through is unimaginable. Matthew 26:38 says His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death – to the point where He started to sweat blood, as in Luke 22:44. Isaiah 53:3 foresaw what Christ was to be – a man of many sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Another version even describes him as a man who ofted felt sad.
“Why are you so downcast my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my savior, my God.”
Something else caught my attention. I saw that for every depressed man I came across, they had one thing in common - they always turned to God whenever they felt downcast. He walked with them through all that they felt. Why? Because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit. He did not condemn them for their thoughts or call them of little faith. On the contrary, when they told God how they really felt and waited patiently for Him, He heard their cry, drew them up from the pit of depression, set their feet on a rock and made their steps secure. He remained a stronghold at their lowest points. He always came through for them. He never left nor forsook them. He never left nor forsook you.
I will not make the mistake of having the two extremes where I either neglect depression as something that bothers people – yes, even those that are walking with God – or the other extreme, where I conform to today’s culture that over-acknowledges depression and treats it as something to be proud of, as a mark of a true millennial or one of Generation Z, a mark of being woke. On the contrary, I will stand for one thing and that alone: that God wants you to acknowledge Him in the midst of your depression. He is calling you to cast your burdens and anxieties upon Him for He cares for you. He is calling you to take all that you are harboring, all that is causing you to be weary and heavy-laden, for He will give you rest. He will strengthen you and uphold you with His righteous right hand. He will never leave nor forsake you. He will never leave and He never has. He is close to those that are low in spirit.
GOD WANTS YOU TO BE AUTHENTIC WITH HIM.
DON'T PRETEND TO BE OKAY WHEN YOU AREN'T.
TELL HIM HOW YOU REALLY FEEL.
HE WANTS TO HELP.
So, like the psalmist did in Psalms 42, speak to your soul, that is so downcast and disturbed, and remind yourself of who God is. Remind yourself that God is near - much nearer that you think. Remember that there are men and women who came before you, who cried out for God to take their lives or for God to show Himself or to take away the cup of suffering from them - these people never lost hope. Rather even at their lowest points, they cast their burdens unto God, and He in some way, ended up strengthening them. That is where their hope was found. And there's one who carried all your sorrows with Him on an old ragged cross. He understands what you feel. Take you cares to Him.
If you are suffering from depression, know that you cannot deal with this without Jesus. He died for that very thing. “Come to me all those that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest," He said. He is calling for you. Come home.
Date: 10 May 2020
By Tawonga Gausi 3 Likes Register to like