Todays readings… 2 Kings 7, Lamentations 3, 1 Corinthians 16
DEPRESSION … “BUT THIS I CALL TO MIND”
Today Depression has become a major health problem; one that is very hard to deal with, medically. Many medications threaten to create other problems because of their side effects.
We have thought about this during the last 3 days as we have read the LAMENTATIONS of Jeremiah. What a difficult life this prophet experienced since he was called to serve God as a young man. Now we picture him sitting, as an old man, amid the ruins of the wondrous temple Solomon had built 350 years before while all around him is the burnt and ruined holy city of Jerusalem. He is utterly depressed.
He writes, “Look O LORD, for I am in distress; my stomach churns; my heart is wrung within me … my groans are many, and my heart is faint.” [Ch. 1 v.20,22]
After all he has been through; all his efforts to make the Kings and princes in Jerusalem turn back to God and seek God’s mercy, but they would not listen. Instead they turned on him; one of his worst experiences was being thrown into a dungeon which was really a cistern and sinking down deep into the mud at the bottom: Jeremiah ch. 38.
Then he is entangled with the enemy as the city is captured, but they give him his freedom! But freedom to do what? At some stage he suffers utter depression and laments, “My eyes are spent with weeping … my bile is poured out to the ground because of the destruction …” [Lamentations ch.2 v.11]
But stop! In today’s 3rd chapter suddenly a new way of thinking comes into his mind.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion says my soul. The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” [v. 21-27]
Our lives revolve around our relationship with God; if depression strikes, the only real solution is to rediscover that relationship. Jeremiah further says, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD.” [v.40] In doing this we will “call to mind … the steadfast love of the LORD.”
Let us meditate also on the positive way Paul puts this today in the final chapter of 1 Corinthians, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” [v.13,14]