I was talking to someone recently about their depression. They said they had learned that even in the darkest times they recognized that God was there. They were recognizing that God was using this time. They were recognizing that as the old saying goes, they had to be flat of their back before they looked up. They are now - after several months of intentional changes in their thought patterns, seeing God's hand at work. They are thankful for the hard times because they know that is when they grow. Instead of their old prayer of "Oh Lord, help me" from time to time they are beginning to thank God for this season of their life. Even though it was and is not easy they know they are better for it! They said they know God gives them the strength to cope with this time in their life.
The prophet Nehemiah told God's people in Nehemiah 8: 10, "Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Like Nehemiah said, my friend has begun to enjoy life again. As Dolly Parton said, "Storms make trees take deeper root."
After a heavy rainfall water saturates the ground to a deeper depth. All of us here in Wilmington know about this after our record breaking rainfall and the flooding from the hurricane. The roots, seeking moisture, follow the water and plant themselves deeper in the earth. Some say that the stress of winds cause the outer layer of a tree to grow faster to help thicken it in a shorter amount of time. After several storms a tree grows deeper and stronger. All of the wind gusts help the tree root and grow. These storms also prepare the tree for future storms. Like the tree, when we are going through back to back storms we are just trying to make it through the storm. Although we may not see it, we can trust that we will grow stronger.
I think there are times when people need medication to help them. But that medication, alone, will not make them feel "happy" and certainly won't make anyone feel "joy". We all need a daily dose of Scripture. We cannot rely on medications to solve life's problems. We can only rely on the Lord to solve life's problems.
I say this often, there is an answer to everything we need to know in the Bible. God knew we would go through dark times and troubled waters so He gave us His word to comfort us. Here are two Scriptures that you can hold on to during a dark time. Psalm 139: 11-12, "If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." What we feel is darkness is not darkness to God. He is the bright light and He will take care of you. Isaiah 43: 2-3, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." God wants us to focus on Him and learn to trust Him.