You’re been stressed out for a while now and you’re not sure why. In reality, there’s not a whole lot to be stressed over, save for some things here and there, but that’s sort of normal for you and those activities can be taken care of easily enough. Even though those things are nothing to be too stressed about, you are anyway, and a little too much at that. You feel sick, too. You have headaches and stomachaches. Aspirin doesn’t really seem to be doing the trick, but it helps…somewhat. Tylenol doesn’t take away the depression that seems to be creeping up on you either. Why are you sad now, little one? Why is your heart heavy? Why is your mind so crowded and yet so empty? The conversations you used to enjoy are now dull to you. Your answers in dialogue are mostly platitude and your laughter is forced. The fire in your eyes is gone, too. What’s wrong with you? You aren’t playful anymore like you once were and you’re just sluggishly moving through life. Is it a chore to wake up every morning? You used to look forward to weekends and the relaxation, but now they seem like little meaningless placeholders at the end of the week where you stay in bed all day, depressed and lonely.
Have you thought about what’s troubling you or are you instead avoiding confrontation with the problem? Do you know what’s bothering you? Are you hoping that maybe one day you’ll snap out of it and everything will be right again? Maybe one day. Today isn’t that day though, is it? Maybe when your kids get older you will start to brighten up again. They’ll be having their own weddings and you’ll have grandkids and new memories will give you a reason to be happy and less empty. Or maybe a vacation is what you need. A trip to somewhere tropical will soothe your aching heart. Will a more dynamic marriage perk you up? A skinnier body? More of a social life? A nicer car? Help me out here. What will make you happy? Maybe your answer is…nothing. Nothing will make you happy at this point. A nicer car would be satisfying, but the sensation of newness will eventually pass. A skinny body is pretty cool, but…cake. Friends come and go, so, really, what will make you happy?
Do you think God sees how you’re feeling, or is He upset that you’re like this yet again? You have another problem, another life issue to bring before Him, but you’re too embarrassed for Him to know. You’ve had a lot of them lately, so you’d rather hide it from God and instead not bother Him. Maybe He’ll come find you and you’ll act surprised as if you didn’t know all along that your heart was in shambles. After all, nobody else really knows what’s bothering you. They might know something is awry or even what the real problem is. At any rate, their help is of little significance at this point. The worry goes too deep and you’ve given up of ever being happy and feeling young again. Do you think God sees any of that? Is God too burdened with what you’ve already brought to Him in the past that you’d rather stay away for fear of overwhelming Him? I can understand that. I also understand when you present yourself before Jesus that all He has to offer you is hope. Depression and angst can be so weighty that you don’t have the strength to lift it heavenward. I can understand that, too. But where you don’t have strength is where Jesus does.
The choice for you is not to either live with depression or at least live with it off and on. For example, if someone were to say to you, “You know, I’ve really been struggling with rage and hatred. I just want to kill those that I despise!” what would you think? Should they be satisfied to live with off and on tendencies to kill people? Should they kill people and those around them will just have to suffer with the outcome? Anyone with even half a gram of common sense would answer with a firm negative. It’s the same thing with depression. Adverse emotions resulting in harmful or damaging actions affect not only yourself, but others as well. Depression is not a godly lifestyle but rather a fiery arrow from the enemy that you must react to accordingly and righteously. God is in the business of overcoming sin and lifting burdens.
Pride will tell you to accept depression and anxiety in your heart. Pride can convince you that even though God can be in your life, he shouldn’t be active in your life. It’s the same as having a terrible disease but refusing to go to the doctor or to accept medication. Surely you wouldn’t want to live with any disease, so why would you want to live with sickness and loneliness occupying your heart? A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22, English Standard Version.
One last thing. How well are you taking care of yourself? Are you exercising like you should and eating healthy? You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Don’t expect quality health results from a steady diet of sugar and processed carbohydrates paired with little physical activity. God gifted you with a beautiful temple made just the way He wants it, and if He were to ask for it back now, in what condition would He receive it?
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. You may need to approach God for strength in food moderation. You may need to approach for strength in finances or patience or marriage or emotion. For “…he bends down to listen…” approach for big reasons and little reasons as often as you need to (Ps. 116:2). The first step in getting anything accomplished is the act of repenting of bad habits and replacing them with good ones. The definition of repentance derives from the Greek word metanoia, which means “turning from sin”, however, that’s not the biblical definition of sin because you can try harder and you can do better and you can hang on longer, but the act of repenting is the ability change your mind about sin. When your mind changes, your actions change.
Choose right this moment who you’re going to submit to — pride or the hope Jesus has for you.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. — Proverbs 14:12, English Standard Version