Wednesday, January 16, 2008

random thoughts on depression...

So, no, I don't need an intervention. I just think about depression often because there is a person God has placed in my life who has been depressed ever since I've met her. And, she regularly calls me for support, and to criticize my family for not being able to fix her. But that's another story...

I've been on a mission to love others better by trying to really understand where they are coming from. And I mean, really trying to get inside their head and see what makes them tick and so better understand why they struggle in ways I might not understand otherwise. I mean, let's face it, there are a lot of things that bother people (and I mean REALLY bother people) that we just don't get unless we know where it stems from. Like today, I cried when I realized that I couldn't rake my yard because of the rain. Now a bunch of you just chuckled and probably even thought to yourselves, "what a freak!", but if I went into all the specifics as to how long (MONTHS!) I've been trying to get to the yard, the schedule my husband has which has kept him from being able to tend to the yard, and the plethura of reasons from my childhood as to why a messy yard bothers me, you might just get it.

And before I go any further, I need to give credit where it is due. My very wise friend, Aimee, is the one God used to open my eyes to see this need of mine. This need to understand others better rather than just taking things at face value. So, in the spirit of trying to understand this individual who God has placed in my life, I bought a book called When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper. I was so impressed by some of the things he has to say that I wanted to share. Here goes:

In response to the question "How long O Lord, how long?" Piper references several Psalms. If you know anything at all about King David, you know that he was frequently depressed. Psalm 40:1-3 was particularly noted and Piper makes a couple of observations:

  • There is no statement about how long David waited on the Lord. Only God knows how long we must wait.
  • Just because we are waiting on God in our times of darkness does not mean that we make peace with the darkness.
  • We don't know what caused David's depression. This makes it easier for us to identify with David and fill in our own blanks in the Psalm.
  • If we want to experience the joy of faith, we must not focus on our faith (morbid introspection). We must focus on the greatness of our Savior.

And then on the question of assurance of salvation during what Piper so aptly calls the "dark night of the soul" he quotes Philipians 1:6 "He who began a good work in you, will carry it on until the day if completion."

Just some thoughts that I was encouraged by today. Let me know what you think!

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