According to author Sheila Walsh, if you scramble the word DEPRESSION you get “I PRESSED ON.” But what if you don’t know how to press on?
NBC Nightly News reported that over 30 million Americans are unemployed now because of the Coronavirus and depression is one of the effects of that pandemic.
Unemployment, depression, and the Coronavirus are what can be referred to as “the triple threat.” However, those three words have also been used to describe someone who is multi-talented, like Hugh Jackman, who can sing, dance, and act.
But feeling stuck, with no energy, and no hopeful outlook, is nothing to sing about. They are the triple threat symptoms of depression, which threatens our existence, our livelihood, and our spirituality.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Lee Warren lived through depression. He’s an Iraq war veteran, who still has nightmares due to his PTSD. He performed numerous brain surgeries in Iraq and besides weathering divorce, he still trudges through grief due to the death of his son.
In I’ve Seen the End of You, Warren writes, “I had discovered a profound truth in my journey through treating cancer patients and trauma victims, through becoming a traumatized war veteran, and through losing my son: my happiness cannot depend on my life being pain-free. I had changed my mind. I knew that others could too, but it would require some help, some brain surgery. After all, the same Jesus Christ who said he had come to earth to give people a joyful life was also described as a “man of sorrows.”
The Bible contains the accounts of what I call “The Four Js” who faced depression. In the Old Testament Joseph, Job, Jeremiah, and Jonah experienced depression, as did Paul in the New Testament, who said, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NLT)
It’s nothing new. Biblical people and common people like you and I who faced or face depression. But again, what if you don’t know how to press on?
Decades ago, I used to run to antidepressants, but now I manage depression when it occurs. But some folks need that medication. When I feel it coming on I go walking in our neighborhood. You gotta move!
In the mornings after a few cups of coffee I empty my feelings in a journal. You gotta admit what’s going on!
Then I fill myself with God’s promises. You gotta memorize scripture!
And before I face my day I lay my junk at the foot of the cross. You gotta bend your knees! When life still seems way too much I share my concerns. You gotta have a prayer warrior!
The enemy wants you to feel defeated but God wants you to rely on His strength as you put one foot in front of the other. Press on!