“Depression should not be wasted.” So begins a blog post called by a pastor from Ontario who experienced depression as a teen and through his twenties, then again toward his forties. His opening statement could cause offense to someone exhausted by their struggle and desperate for an end, if not for the ways he shows how grace filled their lives have become.
You can read the entire blog (“Wasted Depression”) at the Thistletown Baptist Church web site listed below, but what the pastor says about the power of grace and the power of weakness is worth repeating here. He admits people in the church and in the world often call on people suffering from depression to do more, especially to use their God-given talents and abilities, but…
“But the depressed know grace in the gargantuan effort it takes –not to move the mountains that get in the way of the incredible(church or ministry) plan that was hatched, not of knowing how to use the great gifts that God has granted, but of — pulling one’s feet out of the bed and onto the floor every morning.
They know the power and love of grace when God allows them to actually see something that matters and know that God used them to be a part of it.
They know the power of grace to stay in a social gathering when everything in them screams to run away and be alone – in the dark – on the edge.
They know the magnificent power of grace when hours of attempting to figure out why someone was saved or helped or encouraged through them and no reason in them can be found except that God uses the things that are not to bring to nothing the things that are.
They know unimaginably great joy at knowing that God does not need us to be talented, in control, maintaining an unstoppable vision and waving the magic wand that makes everything that needs to happen – happen.
They know that God uses even them – them, in their self-hatred and self- righteousness and self-pity. Them, when they feel like quitting but don’t because God said not to. Them, who couldn’t muster up enough faith to move a pebble, never mind a mountain. Them, because God is more glorified in the triumphs of His cause when the instruments He uses are not envied and gawked at, emulated, imitated, interviewed and marketed.”
The pastor then lists examples of the despised, the small, the weak, and the unimpressive people used by God, people easy to identify with when depression has drummed down your own life:
“Depression understands the call of the murderer on the backside of the desert. (Moses)
It is the mighty man of valour threshing wheat in a wine press for fear of the enemy. (Gideon)
It is the boy with the sling shot. (David).
It is the woman who takes over when the men will not obey their call. (Deborah).
It is the cowardly bigot in the belly of a whale. (Jonah).
It is the prophet daring to say that God doesn’t seem to be getting it.
It is the faith of the little child who gets shooed away by those who know that God has no time for such people until they grow up.”
“A lot of people suffer from depression. A lot of saved people. If you are one of them allow me to encourage you not to waste it. Go on in a power that is not your own. Remember that God does not call the great and the mighty. He calls the nobodies and failures and weak and unimpressive – and accomplishes a plan hatched before the world began through them. Through you.
The Psalmists knew the suffering of depression. They must have, considering what they wrote in some of the Psalms. We finish this with a listen to what God wrote through one of the Psalm writers on one of his less stellar days. I hope it encourages you. (Psalm 77)”
“Grace. The unlimited, powerful, life changing, eternity guaranteeing, grace of God.”