He [Elijah] went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.'...
The people of Israel have broken their covenant with You, torn down Your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.'
Have you noticed how animals and certain people can bear great amounts of physical pain... quietly? On the other hand (quite understandably), when in pain, most people complain...
Which leads to a condition I call, 'The Pain of Pain,' where pain is exponentially multiplied by the very act of complaining about it. How? The power of words. We fear the pain. We speak the fear in the form of complaint, so it grows to be... unbearable.
The same thing happens with depression. It feels terrible. We fear it, because we don't understand it or know how to fix it. Some people seek help, but if God's not in it (or them), results rarely last. Tragically, some people shut down... or exit altogether.
Bible heroes got depressed. Some of them even wanted to die.* Their solution? They prayed and did not fear it. It did not multiply.
Instead, it was like Paul's thorn in the flesh. Bouts of depression kept them humble, but occasional angst did not prevent a glowing and meaningful life.
Modern day faith-heroes face depression, like Mother Teresa, a globally admired minister to earth's poorest people. In letters posted after her death, she reveals periods of spiritual 'dryness,' 'darkness,' 'loneliness' and ...'torture.' Yet she did not enlarge them by fear. Through God, she survived and thrived.**
Bottom line: Depression is hard to bear. I've been there many times. But now as a Christian, I realize God is with us through our dark nights of the soul. They pass. 'Weeping my stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning' (Psalm 30:5, NIV).
Second bottom line: I believe God can and does work through excellent mental health professionals... and treatments. To me, the key is not to e-n-l-a-r-g-e times of depression by fearing them.
Fear is a monster. Every person, place or feeling fear touches... is worsened by the association
Therefore, refuse fear in every crisis, including depression. With God, depression becomes not only bearable... but transcendable.
* Article: The Crisis of Elijah: https://bible.org/seriespage/crisis-elijah-1-kings-194-14
* Article: 7 Bible Figures Who Struggled with Depression: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/7-bible-figures-who-struggled-with-depression.html
** Time Magazine Article: Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith: https://time.com/4126238/mother-teresas-crisis-of-faith/
## Fear: Of Depression (Part 7)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fear series.