Originally Posted by Gagafritz
I think it is interesting that if you look at the word depression, it has an "I" in it and the words "Press on". Navel gazing is often a narcissistic thing as well as you can love yourself too much or beat yourself up too much. Kind of both symptoms of the same thing.
Okay...now I have some time to expand.
The backdrop for much of what I will write is 1 Kings 19 and 2 Corinthians 4. Both passages have been very influential on my journey through this experience. I will post both of the passages so that it will be easily referenced.
1 Kings 19:1-18
1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
2 Corinthians 4:1-7
1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
The way I see it is that every day we have a choice. We can listen to the voice of this world, the voice of Jezebel. That voice tells us that we aren't good enough, that no one could ever love us the way we are, that the world is spinning out of control, that one day I might lose the people and things that I care about to sickness or death or famine or sword. The Jezebels tell us that the world is theirs and that we are under their dominion. If we listen to this voice, then we can't help but be depressed and afraid and lonely, like Elijah. In the moment, she seems so loud and so imposing, with all her rhetoric and all her posturing. In the moment, it is easy to listen to her because she seems so close...
But, then there is the alternative. Like I said, we have a choice. The other voice that calls out to us is the voice of the One who made us. That voice says things like "you are my child," "you are the one sheep in ninety-nine," "I love you." The problem is that this voice, the voice of the Almighty One, can be difficult to hear because we come with certain expectations about how He will speak. We think He'll be in the strong wind, the powerful earthquake, or the annihilating flame, and truly sometimes He is. But, more often than not, He speaks to us in that still, small voice. So, we must listen carefully. We must want to hear what He has to say. When we listen, we will find out that we aren't alone (like Elijah did). We will find out that Jezebel really isn't in control at all. We find out that despite all our flaws and brokenness God will always love us and that He will never leave or forsake us. We find out that sickness and famine and the sword have no real power over us. We find out that we are jars of clay, and we find out that that's okay because the fact is that the surpassing power comes from God and not from us.
So, we stand firm when things don't feel
the way we want it to because God's grace is sufficient for all these things. In His grace our weakness becomes strength.
Each day we have a choice. We can listen to the voice of Jezebel or the voice of God. We can listen to the voice of the world, which seeks to kill, steal, and destroy, or we can listen to the voice of Jesus, who came that we may have abundant life. We can have our minds conformed to the thought patterns of this world, or we can have our minds transformed by the renewal that comes from listening to the Gospel of Grace.
I pray that you find peace, and I pray that your mind is renewed in the beautiful truth that you are indeed a child of God.
Grace and peace to you