There is a genuine struggle being waged by many, one that can overtake the entirety of a person’s life. I’ve seen it in those I love, in friends and family members who before they mounted this battle I may not have believed it would be one they would wage. That battle is depression: the overwhelming dark days that are intense, long-lasting often accompanied by the belief that it will never end.
Walking alongside those that have waves of emotion from which they cannot break free, I have come to understand a few things about this journey. One that I think all should realize—most importantly those that are drowning in this sea of darkness.
Depression Does Not Equate to God’s Disappointment
God is not disappointed in you. I want to say that again. God is not disappointed in you! He has not walked away, is still ever-present and he is not expecting more from you than you can give at that very moment. His understanding knows no boundaries. He has not, nor will he ever surrender his very nature of compassion, mercy, and longsuffering. He loved you before this season, he loves you in this season and will love you beyond.
You see, he is not a fair-weathered friend, only willing to “hang” with you if you’ve got everything cleaned up, worked out and looking pretty. He is there when we follow him imperfectly, but he also was there giving his life for us before we knew him loving us just as we were. “For when the time was right, the Anointed One came and died to demonstrate his love for sinners who were entirely helpless, weak, and powerless to save themselves.” Romans 5:6 TPT
That love was demonstrated as he walked this earth as well. His compassion was on display toward those who very much like us, were far from perfect. He ate meals with them, laughed with them, cried with them, and shared long days on a dusty road.
God Desires Your Depression; You Don’t Have to Bear It
In fact what Jesus said during that journey is this, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
How many people do you know that are humble, gentle at heart? Not many I do believe. I love it that He offers rest for our souls. It’s exactly what is needed in this season of darkness, rest. No pressure, no piling on of doubt and discouragement, no quick fixes to a complex problem.
But I do believe my God is disappointed. He is disappointed in those of us that don’t mirror his nature when we see someone’s struggle. I feel confident that when we fail to offer humility and gentleness instead, giving platitudes, sure-fire-fixes, if-you-only, where-is-your-faith, he is profoundly disappointed with us. I know this because of what else God’s word says:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
Your Friends Aren’t Disappointed, Either
We who have not walked that road ourselves need to step up to the plate. We need to pattern our actions like the God we say we follow. We are family and family is born for adversity. We are friends, real friends, which means we love at all times, we stick closer than a brother. Not when it’s convenient or easy, but at all times – even the difficult ones.
So, to my friends that may find themselves walking in the darkness of depression feeling completely lost, know this, God is not, absolutely, positively, without a doubt, not disappointed in you! He understands more than anyone else can and loves you completely.
Friends, if you find someone in your life who is lost in that place of darkness, love him or her well. Be there without fail, hold a hand, share the tears, babysit their kids, walk their dog, take them meals, provide the rest. Never give up, and don’t ever walk away. That’s a grit and grace life. It’s the example set for us by the one who is love, perfect love, demonstrated by His very nature. He set the example, may we follow it. I know I certainly don’t want to disappoint, do you?
For more encouragement, you may also like:
When Someone You Love is Depressed
My God in the Darkness
Why We Can Look at the Dark Parts of Life With Hope
A Fake Smile Will Not Cure Depression, So Do This Instead
6 Practical Tips That Have Helped Me Conquer Depression
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