Solomon, King of Israel once wrote, "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression. But a good word makes it glad."
Anxiety, worry, all consuming concern weights down, oppresses and subdues the heart, mind and will of man and none can withstand this depressive, debilitating burden outside of God's help!
I want to challenge you to Embrace your brokenness, hardships, limitations, and the closed doors; pressing into God and trusting Him in the struggles, with the un-answered questions, the unknowns, and the hard times…hoping in His Goodness and knowing “He is For YOU!”
This challenge may seem insurmountable, and one you really don't want to take on, but whether you take it on or not, you are in a struggle for life and death everyday. Ignore it, or embrace? Your choice! The ancient Hebrews not only captured this struggle in the Torah, the writers of the Psalms, Proverbs and other poetic books, as well as, the books of the prophets and the historcal books in the Old Testament teach us what it means to embrace difficulty.
Mother Teresa endured a six decades long struggle with a deep, soul wrenching, depression that only her spiritual director knew about. In-spite of this she trusted God and Hoped that He had not abandoned her as she cared for the naked, the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the leper, the dying, all the ones the world has deemed untouchable.
Depression is a REAL Human Experience that goes undiscussed, stays hidden and is avoided even in church. Yet the scriptures are full of individuals who faced this struggle and some who even embraced their oppressive hardship.
- Lamentation - Written by an author that witnessed the genocide, suffering, slaughter and enslavement of his own people when Babylon, the New Super Power invade his nation, carrying many, like Daniel away into captivity.
- Job - Loses everything: his wealth, his 10 children, his health and his friends even turn on him.
- King David’s son, Absalom - Rapes his sister, steals his throne and is eventually killed against his wishes.
- King Saul, disobeys God’s wishes, is condemned to lose his throne by a prophet, and is tormented by evil spirits.
Question: What can we do, when we are faced with this darkness called depression?
A brief reading through Psalm 42 will give you a glimpse into the life of one who was suffering beyond what most of us in America have ever experienced. This poem…this song was written to capture the anguish of heart, mind, soul by one of the “Sons of Korah,” a Levitical family. Who was exiled from his Jerusalem, longing for the sanctuary and oppressed by his enemies. So, how does he deal with the weight of his situation? You only have to read the opening lines of this poem to learn the key to embracing, "As the dee pants for the water of brooks, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, ofr the living God? When shall I come and appear before God?" The psalmist pours out, empties his soul to God and somehow in this simple act of Faith change happens in the depths of our being that cannot be wrought other wise.
- Question: How do you feel forgotten by God?
- Question: What is oppressing you right now, causing you to mourn?
- Question: What is your soul agonizing over, disturbed by right now?
- Question: What is God’s word of hope to you this morning,
Step into His Presence invite him to be the answer, the savior, Your God.
The psalmist ends this beautiful piece of poetry with these words of comfort for all who are pressed down by depression:
"Why, my soul, are you down cast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Embrace your difficulty by pouring out your heart to God and allowing Him to wrap you in His ever loving arms...His divine embrace!