Disheartening clouds surround, our emotions become blighted. Day-to-day activity is hard to face. The darkness of depression can bring a numbing separation from anything positive.
During these times we find conflict within. We may wish for compassion, but part of us wants to withdraw. The thoughts “leave me alone” and “please help me” exist together. We long for the empathy of others yet retreat into ourselves. Though surrounded by people we can experience a profound loneliness. When we isolate ourselves, hopelessness descends.
Who will take time to pause, listen, and understand? Most in our social circles mean well, but do not wish or are unable to get close and connect on a deeper level. Pat answers can be an automatic response from otherwise sincere people, or as a way to dismiss the uncomfortable.
Guilt often accompanies depression. As Christians, we may think we should not struggle, that we lack faith and God is disappointed in us for being this way. There may be regret our behavior is noticeable by others, that our disconnection or inability to engage life angers and frustrates those around us. Realizing we have emotional problems may bring shame.
In reality, God seeks us in our vulnerability and helplessness. He cares for us where we are, not after meeting ideal requirements. His goal is to transform with the light of His Son. We don't need a happy mask before God; we can bring our pain to Him.
I am thankful we can be open in our deepest sorrows with our loving Father. He will not turn away, dismiss us with saccharin sentiments, or act awkward when we show vulnerability. In Christ, He knows us intimately. He knows us to our core. We need not hide our dejection, it is safe to pour out our despair. We are free to be unguarded with a Lord who tells us He will never leave us or forsake us.
There is no isolation more devastating than separation from God. If we have never accepted His Son we need to receive this wonderful gift to know true hope. When we consider the word hope today, we understand it as self-help or wishful thinking. This will do little to reach us in our deep brokenness. This is not what God offers. We seek Jesus Himself, a sure trust in which to rely. Since Jesus experienced the pain of human life, He is a Savior who knows our circumstances. In power and mercy, the risen Redeemer is a relationship of intimate safety. In Him is assurance during the darkest times.
Despondency may not pass easily. We can lay this turmoil before God, knowing He walks us through our days with our hand clasped in His own. In the redemption of Christ, His hand holds us strong. His grace is not only over us when we see it; it is just as true in the heart's dry branches, thorns, and thistles. Our wonderful God is good, all the time. His tender, gentle love enfolds with the grace of Christ. There is no need to wait for comfort to arrive when our season of depression is over, we can know this now.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8.
And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit...but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:15.