I hate my depression.
But I’m thankful for it.
While not always related, anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand like onion breath and flatulence. I get anxious over the things I want to control but can’t, then get depressed whenever things feel out of control.
There are a million hits on Google if you search for “ways to get rid of anxiety and depression.” If you’re a Christian, there are even more. Many of these are good and need to be explored; I have and will continue to. But for many, anxiety and depression never really go away. They go to sleep, sometimes for a good while. But then they wake up jumping on your face, pulling out your hair and blowing sirens in your ears.
Depression feels like an anvil on my chest and five or six wet blankets draped over my brain. It typically can’t be prayed away, willed away or Bible-versed away. But what I can do is be thankful for it.
The Bible tells me that when I am weak is actually when I am strong.
You see, at the root of my anxiety and depression issues is control. I want to be in control, I think I am in control and I don’t know how to let go of control. I really don’t. If I did, I would. I would a million times over. I’d give complete control to God who is All-Powerful, Sovereign, and All-Loving and then I would rest in him. Like an inner tube floating down the lazy river.
Great sermon. But it simply isn’t that easy for those like me who have been blessed with depression.
What God has done is used depression to break me.
To make me weak.
To make me dependent on him.
It’s really the inevitable consequence for someone who otherwise might truly feel like he never really needed God for anything because he had it all covered himself.
When I get anxious, it turns my attention to worship God for being stronger than me; for being able to handle it when I can’t. For being in control, even though it doesn’t feel like He is and I feel so out of control. For him being bigger than me, offering a bigger story than mine, and being the Alpha to the Omega (always has been, always will be). For him loving me as his son and pouring his grace and love out on me, in spite of all of my issues. This doesn’t make my anxiety go away, but it does truly make me in awe of God, which is a miracle in and of itself.
We often want God to do miracles, like removing our anxiety and depression.
But let’s make sure not to miss the miracles he can use our anxiety and depression to accomplish. To make an arrogant, prideful, egotistical person like me dependent on God instead of on myself is a miracle.
So I’ll make another cup of coffee and thank God that his plan isn’t dependent on me, because I’m way too broken and messed up to be counted on for that. I’ll worship him that it’s dependent on him. I’ll depend on him because I’m too anxious to depend on any of the things I’m depressed about.
When I puff out my chest and do it myself, I am so weak.
But when I curl into a ball and nuzzle into my Savior’s arms of grace, it’s a whole different story…
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
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- Ep. 47: Interview with Kevin Butcher on Finding Freedom from “Try Harder” Christianity - April 6, 2021