Thursday, November 17, 2011
Dark Days Lifted
In recent years, I have come to acknowledge that I suffer from bouts of depression. More than likely, it is a side effect from my chronic Lyme disease. Whatever the cause, the dark days can come out of the blue, and it will take me some weeks before I am out of the pit.
I am not alone. As a matter of fact, you just have to read the Psalms of King David or the writings of Martin Luther and Charles Spurgeon to see that I am in good company. Luther and Spurgeon are well known theologians who had great faith, but were also very candid with the fact that they were frequent sufferers of depression. At one time, Luther's wife, Kate, dressed in mourning clothes. When Luther asked her why she was donned in black, she answered that from Martin's deep sadness, she figured that God must have died. Luther was no slouch as a husband. He got the point.
When the dark days come upon me, it is not because of some flaw in my faith. I trust God, and I seek Him with all of my heart and pursue Him on a daily basis. The dark days actually find me clinging to Him more fervently than those happy sunshine days. In those days, I wrestle with God. And just like Jacob, who wrestled with God as well, He blesses me in the end.
At some point, there comes a time when I have to fully surrender to the work He is doing in me. As I learned from my recent Joyce Meyer bible study this week, there are things that will not change. Life won't change. The Devil uses the same tricks time and again, and he won't change. God, in his sovereignty, is unchangeable. The only thing that can change is me.
There really is no secret formula for change, though people will try to tell you that if you only do X,Y and Z, then your sadness will disappear and you'll be happy again. Join that class. Call that person. Take that vitamin. Drink that tea. Read that book. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. I can try everything external under the sun, but until there is an internal shift then there will be no change.
I felt the internal shift last week.
The job that I had come to dread had somehow become a little easier. I began to cheer myself on. I think I can! I think I can! Like the Little Engine that could, I persevered, and made it over a difficult hill.
I persevered at church and did not give up the practice of meeting together, just as the writer of Hebrews warned in chapter 10:25. Sunday worship, Sunday night women's bible study, Wednesday night family devotions night. And slowly, as I became more honest with my new church family, I've found greater acceptance and love than ever before.
No great changes. Just changes in me.
I still have a quiet life, a quiet job, I live in a quiet house and attend a quiet church. I deal with loneliness on a daily basis. There are days when this quietness is very foreign to me, and other days when I embrace it like a long lost friend.
This week, I am thankful that God has brought me out of the pit once again. It will be a quiet Thanksgiving and Christmas here at home this year. Just my husband, my boys, my old girl, Maggie, and our church home. It will be peaceful, and it will be plenty. I have everything I need.