Written by Karen Carlson
What does it mean to be depressed? It’s an overwhelming feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. It’s almost as if one’s soul has been sucked out of one’s body because one doesn’t even feel human anymore. One feels more like a robot, going through the motions each day with only one functioning emotion—utter, complete sadness that pierces the heart and every cell of one’s body. The good news is, it can be overcome!
If You’re Depressed, You’re Not Alone:
According to the World Health Association, depression is the #2 leading disabler of people in the Western World. Cardio-vascular disease takes the dubious rank of #1. Take a look at some other sobering statistics concerning depression:
1: At any given time, between 30-40 million people in the United States are clinically depressed
2: 15% of America’s population takes some form of anti-depressant
3: Depression costs corporate America over $70 Billion each year due to corporate employees purchasing depression medication
4: Depression can actually contribute to the onset of a heart attack
The statistics regarding depression are nothing short of staggering, and if you are going through a debilitating state of depression; you are not alone. Anyone who has been through depression knows , all too well, that depression can’t be eliminated quickly or easily because it is complex; it is circumstantial; it involves people’s deep rooted emotions; and it involves past history; but we need to think critically and biblically if we are going to make any headway with this very dark, incapacitating condition.
Depression Can, And Does, Pass:
Depression is a unique sadness; and as stated earlier, it is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. It is a battle of fatigue and exhaustion, many times, for no discernable reason. Depression consumes one’s passion and zest for life—one almost becomes the walking dead—an empty shell, void of any positive emotion—a crushed spirit in a mental pit, void of light.
One cannot fully understand how depression feels unless one has been there. I have been there; and thoughts of leaving this world were becoming numbingly appealing. I am living proof it can be entirely defeated. Not only that, but life can become even more joyful knowing ‘from where one came’. When one has an actual reference point to compare where one has been to where one is now, the entire perspective changes; and feelings of being blessed become far more poignant, real and appreciated. Yes, i can say, with absolute certainty, that depression can be utterly destroyed, but we must come to the realization that God can do for us what we cannot do on our own. Our acknowledging that fact is vital. Admitting we are helpless and in need of God’s intervention and God’s forgiveness is a huge step in the right direction–making the condition of depression ‘ripe’ for plucking and casting.
People Of The Bible Experienced Deep Depression:
It may surprise you to know that many great persons of biblical history battled depression, despondency and problems that absolutely overwhelmed them. The prophet Jeremiah was called the “Weeping Prophet” due to his foreknowledge of the coming annihilation of Jerusalem; King David was in agony over God’s plan to take his infant son; God’s servant, Job, lost abundant herds of livestock and even his children and said he wished he had never been born; and the Prophet Elijah sat under a bush and prayed that he might die. The sorrows of these people, due to their own circumstances, were immense; and they represent only a few examples of historic depression of biblical proportion! Even Jesus, Himself, was referred to as ‘a man of sorrows’ and one of the shortest verses in the Bible is “Jesus wept”. His continued sadness, over His unfaithful, disobedient people, is explicit in biblical text. Also, one can assume when his cousin, John the Baptist, was beheaded, Jesus must have felt overwhelming grief–he went to a solitary place to be alone after hearing the tragic news.
Depressive, oppressive, continuous grief is real; it is all-consuming and it separates us from God. There is, however, one thing unrelenting grief does not have to be—it does not have to be permanent!
All Things Are Possible Through Christ:
In the book of Ephesians, Jesus saw a paralyzed man, among others, by a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda. This outcast-of-a man was hoping for a miracle. The man had been paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus saw him and said, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus was, in essence, saying “Are you willing to put yourself, just as you are, in my hands? Are you ready for me to do for you what you are unable to do for yourself?” Little did this lonely man know that God, in human form, was about to stir his life, both physically and spiritually. As the riveting story goes, Jesus said, “Get up…and walk.” At once, the man was cured and able to rise and walk away.
The whole point here is that no assignment is too big for God. He created you and me; and He can fix anything that we have broken that comes His way. Often times, God allows our life circumstances to get hopeless—yes, God allows it. He allows our efforts to become fruitless and our knowledge and instincts to prove useless in order that we will see that it is He who works within–through us and for us–with His power. He does this because He wants you, like the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda, to witness Him come through for you in your hopeless situation. God wants you to come to know Him and trust Him in the way the He desires to be known by you.
If depression has you at rock bottom, remember one thing: God will let you hit rock bottom to allow you to discover that He IS the rock at the bottom—“And that Rock was Christ” – 1 Corinthians 10:4.
If you lean on Christ, you will be changed!
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”— Psalm 34:18
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”— Isaiah 41:10
May God bless you!