The other day was one of those dreary days. It was overcast and drizzling rain. It was one of those kinds of days that cause you to have the blahs. Some might even say it causes one to be depressed. It was one of those kind of days that made you want to stay home, and hunker down with a good book or a good movie. But the truth of the matter was, I had to get out of the house and go to work.
My work for the day was to visit several Hospice patients. This meant in and out of the car several times in the damp drizzling rain. As I visited these patients all but one appeared to be more despondent than usual. I attributed it to the weather.
The word depressed as defined by Webster is “low in spirits”. The noun form of the word is depression. The truth is that most every one of us has times when our spirits are low and we may be in the throes of depression. Sometimes it becomes so bad that we can be diagnosed as clinically depressed. These are the severe cases.
The problem is, any form of depression carries such stigmas that most of us don’t want to talk about the subject much less admit that we are “low in spirits” or depressed. The truth is, many great men of history have battled with depression, such men as “Buzz Aldren” who went to the moon but had trouble coping with things on earth; Winston Churchill, the great leader of Britain who helped lead them through World War II, suffered what he called the “the black dog of depression”; Abraham Lincoln knew about the awful doubt of depression; and Charles Spurgeon the great preacher of the past century had a life time battle with depression.
Great men of the Bible also battled those times of “low in spirit”. When you read Psalm 42 you see that King David writes about some very low times in his life. Then there is John the Baptist, in a Roman prison and sends a message to Jesus asking are you really the Messiah. The prophet Jeremiah wept terribly over Jerusalem and the people of that day. Look at Job who suffered more than any man called out to God and he was silent. All he had was a nagging wife and three depressing friends. Lastly, look at Elijah after he called down fire on Mt. Carmel, fled for his life and complained to God about being the only one who had not bowed a knee to Baal, which was not true.
The truth is if you are having some bouts of depression you are in good company. Here was a list of great men who battled what you and I battle every day and they overcame it.
So how do we live through this? One, make an honest self-examination. Two, admit the truth. Three, bring the Lord into the picture. And lastly, seek His will.
In Psalm 42:4 & 5, David give us a list of things, he says, (1) “I will remember Him”. We must never let our minds cease to think about God and His Goodness, (2) “I will speak to Him”. Most times when we find ourselves in some “low spirits” it is because we have failed to stay in communication with God. (3) “I will thank Him”. It starts to get hard now. When things are bad the last thing we think about doing is thanking God for whatever the circumstance and situation. (4) “My hope is in the Lord”. The truth is the Lord is the only hope we have of surviving what this world throws at us. And lastly he says “I will praise Him”. In the darkest of days, we always have something to praise the Lord for. We praise Him for His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
So, next time when you are “low in spirits” remember you’ve got a friend in Jesus and He will help you through it all.