I’ve never kept secret the fact that I struggle with depression – I have since I was a kid. I write about it because I know many of you do as well. Sometimes it’s triggered by an event or circumstance but more often than not it comes from a chemical imbalance in my brain. I take medication to keep me on a fairly even plane. Some days are better than others and some days are downright hard. Depression (and medication) doesn’t mean I have lost my faith in God or am a failure as a Christian. In fact, it makes me all the more dependent on God every day.
It also makes me like many of the men and women whom God used – whose stories are scattered all over the Bible and throughout the history of the Church. This morning as I read I recognized myself in David. And I recognized the One who rescued David also rescues me. In his song of praise in 2 Samuel 22 ( also in Psalm 18), David wrote of two places in which I often find myself when depression hits. Drowning in deep waters and sitting in darkness.
Sometimes it washes over me like waves; sometimes it feels like I’ve fallen into brackish water. David said “[The Lord] reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters” (v. 17). The thing about depression is I don’t have the energy or even desire to swim. I need a rescuer – God knows and He comes. Why would He do that? Not because I am such a good teacher or writer or because I am some highly important person in His Kingdom. “He rescued me because He delighted in me” (v. 20b). It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with His heart.
Depression often feels like “darkness that can be felt” (Ex. 10:21). It presses in on me, making it hard to breathe and difficult to move. David said, “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light” (v. 29). Darkness is nothing more than the absence of light. When light – even the tiniest glow – penetrates the shadows, darkness flees. John said that Jesus is “the true light that gives light to every man” (John 1:9) and the darkness cannot overcome His light (v. 5). That’s good news for a lot of us.
Where are you today Beloved? Underwater? In the darkness? The One who rescued David and rescued me can rescue you too. More than that, it delights Him to do so. Take His hand. Look for His light. Your Rescuer is here.