“Must I then, indeed, Pain, live with you All through my life? –sharing my fire, my bed, And, when I feed myself, feeding you, too?”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The critical issue many face is trying to survive the next episode of depression or mania. Somehow I think that cohabitating with something that is trying to kill you is especially disturbing. Depression is my mortal enemy and here I am, giving in and actually allowing it to destroy me. How crazy is that?
In a way, it seems almost sinister, the hair-raising stuff of scary movies. It’s the parasite that makes its residence in the body of its host. (It sounds like a sick story line out of “Star Trek.”)
Some of us get absorbed into a dark melancholy. We instinctively carry despair and despondency wherever we go. It’s hard, but I really believe it’s crucial for afflicted believers to begin to worship again (and again, and again).
I’m totally convinced that the Holy Spirit absorbs much of the venom Himself.
When my depression slumbers, life proceeds fairly well. I can play with my kids, and be a good husband, friend, and neighbor. Everything seems quiet and normal. But when the dragon awakes, watch out, there’s going to be ‘hell to pay.’
There were many terrible, dark days that I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I was plagued with awful, dark thoughts. Meds didn’t seem to help me. I felt completely lost.
Depression might strike at any time, and exactly when, you can never be too sure.
“How will I handle it next time? Will I be in shape for Christmas, or will I lose it again this year? I just don’t know.” That’s the depressive way. But you know, the Holy Spirit ministers yet, and He will touch my heart again. He gently cares for the depressed.
“But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,”
2 Corinthians 7:6
My wife and I were missionaries in Mexico for almost three years. We lived in a “burnt out” and very small trailer, with very sporadic electricity, and no running water. We had a 55-gallon drum for our drinking water, and we tried our best to avoid the mosquito larvae. And part of that time we had to park on the slanted slopes of a volcano. I always wondered what we would do if it decided to erupt.
Sometimes it feels like that, I’m just waiting for the next eruption of another round of depression.
“You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!”
I am glad that God decided to intervene in my life. Without question, I need Him to watch over me. I have to believe that He will keep rescuing me over and over. As a believer in Jesus, I know he has put his hands on me. He shields me from the dragon.
And I have to believe that He protects me from the worst of it.
The Holy Spirit absorbs much of the venom Himself. I’m very glad that I belong to Him! My fear of a plummeting relapse is now His concern. I bear it no more. It is now His responsibility.
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