If my misery could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales,
they would outweigh all the sands of the sea. ~ Job 6:2-3
The darkness creeps in, smothering her. She closes her eyes to the pain, but cannot sleep. Her chest aches of loneliness, yet she wants no one around her. Her whole body aches and no amount of pain killers take away the pain. There is so much to be done, but the motivation to push back the blanket and get out of bed is gone. There is nothing left but a dark hole; and she is quickly sinking.
Depression can happen to anyone. It can be mild or severe. It can last for a few days or even years. I personally have suffered from depression for many years. Some mornings I find it very difficult to get out of bed. My only motivation is my six-year old daughter. It is my responsibility to see that she gets up on time for school, has breakfast and takes her allergy medicine. If it were not for my daughter, I honestly do not know where I would be in my life right now. Every night, I lay my hand on her back after she falls asleep and I thank God for this wonderful gift. I pray that He keeps her safe and healthy. I pray that she will grow up with the knowledge and wisdom to live a very successful life. I want the very best for her.
Horrible things have brought themselves into my life throughout my past. A five-year relationship left me bruised and scarred mentally, physically, and emotionally. I walked on egg shells for five whole years, never knowing if I was going to be hugged or punched. My life was threatened with words, knives, and guns, yet somehow I made it out alive. Many nights I begged God to take my life. My words came very close to those of Job’s: “I would rather be strangled – rather die than suffer like this. I hate my life and don’t want to go on living.” (Job 7:15-16) I would cry and scream at God to just take me. I was so exhausted. I had no reason to live, yet God never answered those prayers. However, He did save me and pulled that half of my life away from me. He had plans for me even before I ever believed in Him.
Some days I have flashbacks and I am afraid to leave my house for fear I will meet my ex on the road, even though he is miles and miles away. I can be reading or watching television and something will trigger a past event that leaves me shaken. Depression settles in and takes over. In my most depressed days I find comfort in the book of Job. It is my favorite book in the Bible because Job is soaked in darkness after all that happens to him, yet he still has his faith in the Lord. There have been times when I, like Job, have searched for God everywhere, “I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed,” (Job 23:8-9). However, like Job I also know that God is there and He is with me no matter where I am, “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me I will come out as pure as gold,” (Job 23:10). We have to put our faith in God always. Job reminds me that when I am settled into my darkness and my motivation is gone, I need to seek God and trust that He will take care of me. “I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You,” (Job 42:2).
The Bible clearly proves that depression is not just a modern day thing. For example, Jeremiah was nicknamed “The Weeping Prophet” Many others throughout the times had their share of depression as well. David and his men “wept until they could weep no more” when they realized what happened to their families after the Amalekite raid (1 Sam. 30:3-4). Alone in the wilderness, Elijah prayed to the Lord, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died,” (1Kings 19:4). Abraham (Gen. 15), Jonah (Jonah 4), and King Saul (1 Sam. 14-23) are some others in the Bible who suffered from depression. Even Jesus had depressed moments. The shortest verse in the Bible says “Jesus wept,” (John 11:35) when the death of Lazarus was announced.
There is also hope for depression in the Scriptures. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us to “be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Psalm 34:18 tells us that “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” And my favorite: “But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high,” (Ps. 3:3).
Please lift this weight off my shoulders. Take away my darkness and bring in Your light. Open up the prison doors and set me free. Thank you, Lord for giving me life. Thank you for the wonderful gift you have given me. I praise you in every storm that settles over me. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen!
More Bible verses on hope: Psalm 40:1-3, Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 11-12, John 14:16, John 16:33, Matthew 28:20, 2 Corinthians 5:7