Monday, September 14, 2009

When You're Depressed

The Bible never talks about depression, though the Psalmist asks his soul: "Why are you disquieted within me?" Scripture sees everything from the standpoint of faith. I am down because I am away from God. I have let other things come between me and my faith, other priorities take first place.

And, yet, we do get down. Depression is basically anger turned in on oneself. Feelings are just feelings and we all have them. And, if we don't deal with them, they don't go away. Feelings will hang around within and they can hurt us. Sometimes they have the power to destroy us.

Living the way we do we don't take time to take care of ourselves enough. We ignore our feelings or push them down.

We are living through a time right now when people are collectively depressed. It sort of reminds me of the time when Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston. We were living in Goose Creek, SC, just north of Charleston. We had just built our new building for the new church which we started in 1984. And, Hugo hit leaving devestation in its wake. We were fortunate. All the pine trees were down in our yard, and the roof of our house had to be replaced. Others lost much more.

The Sunday after Hugo hit we gathered for worship in our church. No electricity or water, we huddled together and held each other. It was a difficult time as we all tried to put our lives back together. That year we lost about a month of offerings. You think we've got it bad now?

Never before had I seen people so depressed, not just one of us, but en masse, so to speak. And, like then, our collective depression will pass, but while we're going through it what should we do.

We should keep our faith and trust God to get us through this. God really will get us through this. We will survive. During such a time as this, we need to keep working and moving forward. It is a time to pare down, to ask what is most important in life. It is a time to pray and worship. Maybe it's a time to think about someone else's needs.

So, if you find yourself down, you really are not the only one. All of us are fighting off this feeling that we have been robbed.

The Psalmist also says: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..." Goodness and mercy are right behind you.

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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