Monday, April 22, 2013

My friend

“It is my "friend". I wake up to it every day. Actually, I've dealt with its presence everyday for the past 15 years. Sometimes it is more and sometimes it is less severe, but it is always there.

When it first started showing more "debilitating" symptoms I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. No matter how well I was doing or what I did it didn't go away. No amount of prayer or bible reading made it go away or even seemed to affect it at all. Actually, it seemed the more I fought it, even through spiritual means, the worse it got.

After fighting it for a few years with seemingly no progress I truly wished I could just die. I sympathized with people who committed suicide. The one thing that kept me from entertaining suicidal thoughts myself is the fact that God "works all things together for good".......... I tenaciously held onto that belief.

In time I have come to view it as one of, if not perhaps the greatest dilemma facing myself and others in the church today; How to view and or help myself and others, especially Christians, affected by it.  I also think that it is, perhaps, one of our greatest opportunities.

One of the things that have helped me with it is to begin to quit "fighting" it and trying to make it just go away and to accept that it is a part of my life. Perhaps for the rest of my life. I also am learning to accept Gods grace and all of His promises in spite of it.

Perhaps the most potent scripture for me in relation to it has been where Paul wrote that he Gloried in needs and "distresses" for when he was weak then he was strong. He wrote that Gods power is "made perfect in weakness.

Probably the greatest practical thing I have learned to do in relation to it is to thank God for it as an opportunity to suffer in this life for his glory, since glorifying God is the ultimate good and end of all things. This helps me with it tremendously.

I have wondered if those that suffer from it have a greater opportunity to glorify God since God is greatly glorified when we thank him in the midst of suffering. It is depression and I can honestly say that I have made friends with the pain.
Written by Bruce Stuart