I have gotten this question before and I am sure I will run across it again. The situation was a pretty identifiable, one with heartbreak and turmoil in the midst of awful cancer news. This person was sharing how they have seen and read all these great stories of people rising up and fighting with abandon and really how their reliance on Christ shined through durning their toughest days. But they didn’t feel like that. They felt broken, angry and then depressed. They admitted they knew that that was wrong and stated emphatically ‘I just don’t care.’
We have all been there. ‘Down in the dumps,’ ‘feeling blue’ or in a celebrating way throwing ourselves ‘pity parties.’ What is so gripping when it comes to these moments is that we almost just want to stay there and that is what makes it dangerous. What do we do in the moments where we just want to stay in bed, or get on a plane and runaway, or just binge Netflix and nothing else (I realize that last one is not just exclusive to depression :). So what do you do?
1. Something, just do something. Admitting to yourself that you are struggling with depression is often the first step in getting out of it.
2. Remember that God is near. Psalm 34:18 says that He is near the broken hearted and saves the one’s who’s spirit is crushed. So when you have a shattered heart, remember that God your maker is near.
3. Remember that God is fighting FOR you, not against you. Deut 31:8 talks of Moses ‘passing the torch’ to Joshua. I can’t imagine how intimidating that must have been. This is the man who walked into Egypt, one of the biggest world powers at the time, and walked out with all of his people. Obviously, God did all the heavy lifting to make that happen, which is what Moses is saying in verse 8, the LORD goes before you, He won’t leave, He won’t abandon you, so don’t be scared or discouraged. Once again God is near, He’s not going anywhere and He marches in front of you not behind.
4. Worship. Yes, I know I am a worship pastor so this seems like a cop out, but when we worship, when we elevate our God and lower ourselves our circumstances seem to matter less. Scripture points to praise as being a direct affront to depression. Psalm 43:4 & 5 speak of playing music and praising to remind the author of the hope he has in God.
5. Don’t try to face this on your own. There is hope and healing, and there are many who will journey through this trial with you. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time day or night 24/7, to talk to someone who understands.