Depression may seem like a modern day phenomenon. God’s Word tells us otherwise. A list of characters who suffered from depression reads like a who’s who in the Old Testament. We’ve already mentioned Cain as the first case of depression cited in the Bible (see Out of the Blue – Part II). Saul comes next with an evil spirit that was soothed when David played the harp. David, the man after God’s own heart describes many bouts with depression in the Psalms. How often does he mention being entangled by the cords of death? This is what real depression feels like. I speak from first-hand experience.
Clinical depression has been an on-going shadow for me through most of my life. Hence my interest in what the Bible has to say on the subject. Sadly, there are many in the Church who scoff at the notion of a biochemical imbalance. Sufferers are seen as lacking in faith and prone to blaming their upbringing for current behavior. This attitude has been a source of great anguish to me over the years. I have often minimized the extent of my suffering to avoid being misunderstood. Thus, Satan’s campaign to keep me isolated in my pain is advanced.
Look around you. Are you or others in your sphere of influence suffering in silence? If one in five adults suffer, how many share the pew with you on Sunday morning? How many are fearful of speaking their pain lest they be seen as ungrateful and unable to trust God for all their needs? God does supply all our needs; in my case, He has often done so through the care of well-trained physicians and the medications He has revealed to man. Stop by later this week for my favorite example of depression in the Bible. We’ll look at the story of Elijah, a great man crushed by depression but delivered by God.
May you feel His grace today,
The last Word: My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
David in Psalm 42:3, NIV.