Archive for July 17th, 2013

God’s Light in Darkness

July 17th, 2013

O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling.

Psalm 43:3

Overcome by the circumstances around him, unhelped by weakness of his heart, the psalmist dared to muster the faith and cry out to God. The cry alone was evidence of genuine faith, and if we have enough faith to ask God for His help, enough to believe that He is interested in helping us, then we have taken the right step.

We are tempted to say to the depressed person, “Oh, snap out of it.” But such words do not help, and they show that we do not understand depression. There are many causes of temporary sadness – the death of a loved one, a serious problem at work, a financial loss, etc. – but the sadness associated with these normally clears away after a short period. When we go through short periods of intense sadness, we need encouragement, empathy, compassion, and to simply know that we are loved. True clinical depression is different, and usually is more complicated, associated with personality and perhaps chemical problems of the body. Compassion, empathy, and love are still important, however.

The psalmist here showed a brilliant first step in finding the help he needed – he admitted that he was helpless. He asked God to send His light and His truth to lead him out of the state of sadness he was in. “Light” referred to the illuminating work of the Spirit in our hearts, and “truth” referred to the word of God that is sharper than any two-edged word. He longed to have that intimate worship experience with God again.

A pastor friend of mine shared with me the story of his own mysterious two-year depression. He said that it descended upon him rather suddenly and he could not understand the reason for it. About two years later it lifted, and again he felt the peace and love of God in his heart. The love of God had never been turned off during that time, but his depression kept him from sensing and feeling the joy that such knowledge should bring. But, then it lifted, and if you are sad today, one day your depression will also lift.

When we feel overwhelmed by sadness, the right thing to do is to put our case and our condition before God, and to cry out to Him for help. God will act. In His time and in His way, He will act, and our hearts can gain peace in that simple faith, the faith of a child who trusts in his father.

Growing through your depression means to grow in faith. Trust that in God’s timing and in His way, the clouds will clear one day and you will again experience the inflowing of His light and His truth.

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