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"Healed" From Depression?

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  • "Healed" From Depression?

    So, I've been preaching through the book of Acts, and last Sunday was the part about the storm after they left Fair Haven, and the storm raged and the sky was dark and they couldn't see the sun and the stars.

    I, of course, explained that meant that they were totally lost, no way of knowing even what direction they were being driven, unable to chart a course even if they WERE able to steer the ship, and I noted the fact (even though I generally preach out of the ESV) that I LOVE the way the KJV says "and they wished for the day".

    I went off on a totally unintended tangent about what that means to me. I mentioned that "depression" is something I don't understand at all, and there was a time when I was younger when I thought the solution was simply "SNAP OUT OF IT!!!". But, having dealt with people who have gone through depression, I began to understand that it's a deep dark time of despair and loss of hope, like the people on Paul's ship, who had lost all sense of hope, and "wished for the day", when the darkness drops and the light comes and you can at least see enough to assess your situation and deal with it.

    I related this to the situation with my brother* (no longer with us) who suffered from epilepsy, and would often tell me, when we were kids, that he just "wished things could be 'OK'" - and every once in a while, we would be playing baseball or something, and John would be going through a time of calm, no seizures, and he would say, with some degree of pride and joy "today is an 'OK' day". It never hit me when I was a kid what he was saying --- that in his darkness, he was "wishing for the day", and every once in a while, he could experience "day" as "an 'OK' day". Other times, in great sadness and despair, "I just wish things could be 'OK'".

    I made a comment to the congregation that "maybe some of you are going through some dark times and 'wishing for the day', and you can understand better than most what the people on this ship were going through".... then, in the middle of my sermon, I prayed a brief prayer for "those who were going through dark times, and were 'wishing for the day', that the Spirit of the Living God would minister to them...."

    After Church, one of our Senior adult Nigerian ladies (let's call her Carolyn) hugged me extra hard and said, "thank you, Pastor, oh, thank you so much for that Word from the Lord". I had a feeling there was more to this, but other people were standing there to shake hands and say goodby, etc....

    Monday afternoon, that lady stopped by the office. She began to cry, but quickly assured me they were tears of joy. "God healed me, Pastor, He took away the night and gave me the hope of day". Her sobbing, along with her Nigerian accent, made it a little difficult to understand, but she continued "God healed me from depression when you preached about 'wishing for the day'". She said "I felt the gloom and darkness draining out of me and I felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit wrap around me, and for the first time in many years, I feel the joy of the Lord once again!"

    I was really caught off guard - she told me she had stopped taking her meds, but, without me even pushing, she promised me she would consult with her doctor, but she hadn't felt "this good" in many years. (She is a nurse, herself, working in a physical rehab facility in town) She told me "I sleep last night like a baby, and I wake with a song of the Joy of the Lord in my heart, and my husband tell me I look different". All this time, she was crying, telling me how happy she is. (women always puzzle me)

    My secretary was sitting in on the conversation (as is my custom when women come in to talk) and she was bawling, too. Carolyn hugged me again, and as she left, she said "no more wishing for the day, the DAY has come!"

    This, while dealing with my own daughter who seems to still be experiencing darkness, I pray for her, too, that she can "experience the day".

    There is hope.


    *I think I mentioned in another thread that this brother, just older than me, lived in Atlanta, and had a new doctor adjust his epilepsy drugs. The new drugs really put my brother in a sense of confusion and disorientation, and one day he was standing at a street corner in downtown Atlanta, feeling lost and confused, and somebody called the police on him. When the police arrived, my brother tried to explain his confusion, and was angry with the doctor for "messing up my life". In the conversation, my brother supposedly told the police officer "I am so confused and angry, I could just kill that doctor" -- and the officer took that as a terroristic threat, and arrested my brother and had him committed to a local loony bin. I had to fly to Atlanta from Texas to spring my brother from 'jail', and was astounded that the staff of that 'hospital' seemed WAY more depressed and "out of it" than my brother!
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    It's off-putting just how strongly our emotions can manifest physically. I developed anxiety recently, and I had no idea just how hard physically it hits. And when you can't seem to control your own body or emotions, it gets very frustrating. I remember them asking me in the ER if I was thinking about hurting myself, and my reply startled me. I said... "No, but I can certainly see just how quickly someone can get there from where I am"...
    That's what
    - She

    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
    - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
    Stephen R. Donaldson

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    • #3
      I have had some "down" times, feeling lonely and depressed that my life didn't go the way I wanted: still single, no kids, etc. But I think that is pretty normal. I have never had what I would call "depression" -- and I don't have any way of knowing what people who experience it are going through, other than as an outside observer.

      Proud Member of Da Blonde's Axis of Evil, Adam's Dirty Dozen, Dee Dee's Goon Squad, Tweb's In-Crowd, The Brood of Vipers & Exorcised by Ty & Dee Dee, and the only person who ever banned rogue06!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        I have had some "down" times, feeling lonely and depressed that my life didn't go the way I wanted: still single, no kids, etc. But I think that is pretty normal. I have never had what I would call "depression" -- and I don't have any way of knowing what people who experience it are going through, other than as an outside observer.
        There are two "awakenings" I've had in my ministry, and I relate them pretty closely to each other.

        Used to be, when somebody "lost a pet" (death) I would feel rather.... I'd think "well, get another one, it's JUST A DOG!" Then, of course, Harley came into our lives, then Jake, and I began to understand why people say "they are FAMILY".

        Same way with depression -- I used to think "Well, just GET OVER IT" and think maybe it was simply a lack of trust in God, then I met some good genuine people who were suffering from bouts with depression, and began to realize it's kinda like they way I used to think about pets.

        It kinda goes back to a youth workers seminar I attended once, where the speaker was talking about dealing with teens and "puppy love" - he said something that later became very profound to me. He said, "you may see it as 'puppy love' but it's REAL to the puppy!"
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          The OP brought to mind this Andrew Womack Patheos post, and it embedded link to a conversation between Piper and MacArthur.
          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

          Beige Nationalist.

          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            The OP brought to mind this Andrew Womack Patheos post, and it embedded link to a conversation between Piper and MacArthur.
            Interesting. His comment about "I just don't have time to feel sorry....." might be a little coldhearted to somebody with depression, but I think it's obvious he doesn't mean it that way, and I HAVE helped some people deal with their depression a little better by getting them involved in projects or volunteering or whatever, based on that sentiment.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
              The OP brought to mind this Andrew Womack Patheos post, and it embedded link to a conversation between Piper and MacArthur.
              That's Adrian Warnock, not Andrew Womack. There's a world of difference between the two.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                That's Adrian Warnock, not Andrew Womack. There's a world of difference between the two.
                Oops. I'm aware of both names, but don't really know anything about either. I'm not even sure how I happened upon that page. I subscribe to the "Evangelical" and the "Bible and Culture" blogs at Patheos, but his is not one I visit often.
                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                Beige Nationalist.

                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                Comment

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