“Raise your hand if you currently suffer from depression.” This is the instruction that was given by the pastor, as he stood in front of the congregation.
The sanctuary grew quiet. Hands began to gradually rise. People started looking around.
Some of those with their hand raised, looked a bit uneasy and uncomfortable. I could see the look of desperation on the faces of others, as they seemed to long for an opportunity- any opportunity to be free.
I stood at the top, in the mezzanine, and as I looked around at the number of hands in the air, my heart began to grow heavy.
These were individuals of various nationalities, ages, and backgrounds. No group was excluded.
The rest of the congregants, per the pastor’s request, began to move toward the location of a raised hand, to pray with that person.
Near tears, I closed my eyes and began to pray for them.
Millions of people suffer from depression. It’s considered a mental health disorder, and is characterized by feelings of sadness, miserable mood and a loss of interest in life, or certain activities.
Depression is a thief and a silent killer. It robs one of their joy, peace, time, motivation, and depending on the severity of it, it can rob a person of their very life.
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, black, white, yellow or brown; depression can affect anyone, even Christians.
Your close friend, a family member, a co-worker, a young child, the guy or girl walking down the street, that looks like they have it all together, could be suffering from depression.
It’s most upsetting to me to see so many young children taking their own lives recently.
So, how does a person become depressed? Well, I’m not a doctor, but from information I’ve gathered, for some, it’s an actual hormone or mental disorder. Therefore, I encourage those persons to seek medical help, and to not be ashamed to do so.
In children, I believe depression can result from being bullied; feeling a constant need to fit in, while constantly being rejected by peers.
I was bullied as a young child, because I was so quiet. Most of the time I felt out of place, and like I didn’t fit in anywhere.
So, I understand how it feels. It’s no fun at that age to feel like an outcast.
In my early teens, on occasion I would ponder suicide, though I never seriously planned it. I thank God that it never went any further than that, because it certainly could have.
Whatever the cause of the depression, it’s not a figment of a person’s imagination, but it’s as real as AIDS or cancer.
But the good thing is, God is not partial to healing only certain diseases. If He can heal one of them, He can heal them all!
Before I turned my life over to Jesus, I was always severely depressed. I was always sad, lonely, and had no joy, peace or purpose in life.
I would find myself trying to fill the empty void with material things and pleasures of the flesh.
I’m thankful that one day, the Lord called me by my name, pulled me out of the filth that I was lying in, and gave me a new life and a purpose.
Since then, I have experienced an unspeakable joy, that this world couldn’t possibly take away.
Not to say that the feelings of darkness don’t try to creep up on me every now and then. For, I perceive that the enemy will never give up.
However, whereas I used to curl up and sink down into a hole, sitting there hopelessly, while the rains of depression beat down on my head, now I can stand.
No longer will the storms beat up on me, because I’m covered by the blood of Jesus. I have a weapon, and I can fight back.
That weapon is the Word of God, with the Holy Spirit Who empowers me to use it. I refuse to let the enemy steal any more of my joy, and I pray you’ll come to the same conclusion if you battle depression.
And, I leave you with this: if you’re suffering from depression, even if you’re a Christian, just know, you are not crazy, you are not hopeless, and you are not alone.
You are more than a conqueror. You will overcome. Seek God for help and direction. He will help you in all things.
We never truly know what another person is going through in their life, in their family, in their heart, or in their mind. Therefore, the only sure, and the most effective response to others, is to be kind. Kindness is universally accepted.
Be encouraged! God Bless!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”