I don’t enjoy writing about depression. I don’t like to admit that it can be a reality in my life. I only share it because through sharing it as a chaplain I have seen it help others. It kind of shocks people when they are going through depression or anxiety and are trying to make sense of it and their workplace chaplain tells them he has wrestled with it too.
I don’t think they usually see me as the type of person who does or can go through such a thing, and part of it is because of how we see depression. We think of people who talk without enthusiasm in a monotone voice. We think of a lack of energy and fight, and we associate that type of personality as someone who is vulnerable to depression. The truth is; they may be but they are not the primary person.
photo credit to: beat-depression-together.co.uk
Actually, someone who can be extremely excited about something is the target. If you can experience extreme highs you are susceptible to extreme lows. If you can experience extreme hope and peace, you can also fall victim to the extreme feeling of absence of those things. That is just the reality of how some of us are wired. It doesn’t make someone weak, it means we are subject to different things. James the half brother of Jesus talked about facing “trials of many kinds (James 1:2).” What is a struggle for one is not a struggle for another and vice versa. We tend to look at each other and compare our sufferings. And some trials just are harder than others, but when it comes down to it, we all suffer uniquely. We all go through things, and a real trial or temptation for one is not the same for another. That is why we need to lean on God and each other to get us through.
Here is a thought about reality. I hit a very low moment while doing straight commission sales. The hope and excitement that got me into it had vanished. I needed the money. I was cold calling businesses (walk-ins) and not having the best interactions with people. One morning was especially bad. I was told in training that you should schedule two people to be mean to you a day. I had 3 in the first 3 businesses where I tried to talk with someone.
It was brutal. Now you can’t be in sales and not have some thick skin, but there was something about the mixture of my own sadness, the situation and the disapproval of people. It was still early in the morning and I was done.
I knew that nothing good was going to happen the rest of the day even if I kept trying to beat my head against the wall. I was anxious and sad and I was sure everyone could see it. I love people. I find them interesting. I am burdened to help people pastorally, I also like sales and talking to people about a product I feel can help them. But, I was sure everything going on in my head and heart was very transparent. I was sure that anyone who wanted to get rid of me the rest of the day, could smell the blood in the water and would verbally devour me like a shark eating a small fish on his way to the real meal.
I went for a little drive which both relaxed me and stressed me out because I was stressed over money and wasting gas wasn’t a good thing. But, I drove up a hill close to where I live and there was a little park there. It was a bright and sunny day. I felt led to stand under this tarp that was over the sandbox area. It was during the day, there was no one around.
When I stood under it I noticed the color of the tarp made the ground look nasty and ugly. It was an ugly green color and it was terrible. Just outside of the tented area, was green grass, sun and everything looked amazing. God impressed me with this idea. “You feel like the shaded area under the tarp. It looks nasty. It is sandy and hopeless and there is not much life. It seems that nothing useful is going to grow there, and you are stuck. In reality, you belong to God and have been bought at a price through Jesus Christ. Your reality of unity with God looks like the green grass and the bright sun you see just outside the tent.”
You might only see gloom and doom. You might not see the reality, your vision of reality has been tainted. You don’t see what is real. You see things through the lens of the green tarp. But if you are believer in Jesus Christ, the reality of your standing as a child of God out weighs everything else. Through leaning on God and other believers He will see you through. You don’t have the right to quit! You were bought at a very high price. You cost the Son of God His life. He believes in you, but most importantly your life is His.
There are 260 chapters in the New Testament. You go to work 5 days a week. There are 52 weeks in a year. 52 X 5 = 260. This year, Take the Challenge! Change your life!
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