Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Impression of Depression: Let’s Shed Some Light On it

You’ve been robbed. In the darkness of night, a thief has come into your home and taken things of value to you. In fact, he’s been coming every night. And each night you are left with fewer and fewer things to cherish. You can’t keep the thief out and you can’t protect your valuables. Time will pass and eventually all will be lost.

That’s what depression feels like. It feels like things go wrong, then they get harder and harder still until, finally, it seems everything is upsetting, unfair, tragic and none of it can be made right – ever. In the worst-case scenario, depression tells the lie that there is only one way out. That is true tragedy. That is true darkness. And that’s what it’s like when all light is blocked out and you can’t see God.

I bring this up because, as I’ve been writing for a couple of weeks, God is always trying to appeal to our senses – all of our senses – to show us His love. If we’re blind, spiritually speaking, we’ve got big problems. There are powerful implications not just to our life, but also to the greater community of humanity when we cannot see God working in, through and around us. When all we can see is a future that appears to have no redeemable choices, our spirits may be crushed within us and the possibilities of the Kingdom are stunted. There are powerful implications when God’s message of love is eclipsed.

The thief knows all of this. He does everything he can to block out the Light in our lives. The thief a putz. (John 10:10)

The reason I highlight depression in this conversation is two-fold. Firstly, while many folks have moments in which things get cloudy and God gets hazy…folks with depression have chronic “vision” problems. And secondly, I feel a divine obligation to reach out to others who can’t see the Kingdom through the darkness. You see I struggle with depression. Present tense. I know, as a default, my “eyesight” ain’t great. And while I’m in a good place right now, I know that if I don’t proactively keep my depression in check, I’ll be robbed blind.

So what can I reveal about how to shed some Light on a darkened life? Well, with regard to depression, I can tell you that my first hard-earned victory was accepting that I had poor vision. I had to learn that when my world seemed overwhelmingly upsetting, unfair and tragic, there was more going on than what I could see. That meant there were things to hope for that I couldn't perceive of. I learned that in the midst of darkness, what I saw (or didn’t see, for that matter) was not reality. And that was GOOD news. I took medicine. (Depression IS biological. Look it up.) I sought counseling. Great counseling. (Thank you, my friend.) I admitted to close family and friends that I was struggling. They prayed for me and gave me grace. I learned that depression is effected by nutrition and exercise so now I fight daily to keep healthy habits a priority. And I discovered that I needed to train myself to focus on whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy…so that the Peace of God will be with me. (Philippians 4:8,9) For me, writing this blog is a part of that commitment.

Light is pouring into my life where darkness once reigned. And just like Monet discovered, as he painted over thirty views of the Rouen Cathedral, a little light can reveal a spectrum of beauty. My days of limited vision are over. Hope is illuminated all around me and I can SEE God reaching out to me in love.

So listen up, little thief. Be warned. Your days are numbered. The people living in darkness have seen a Great Light. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Are you shuddering? Or should I say, “shuttering”? I know it’s getting Mighty bright out there…


  1. Well done, fireball. You really do have a gift for this :o). I particularly like the part at the end, where it seemed like you almost pulled up a chair for the enemy to watch you praise the Great I AM. ;o) Box seats, indeed.

    Keep shining.

    Wait - what's that you hear it?

    I think a company is beginning to gather round this fire.

  2. This is one of my favorite honest AND so hopeful. We hear the reassurance that "people living in darkness have seen a Great Light." We can pray for His Light to pour out into ours and each others' as needed...Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God indeed!