Lately I’ve heard several folks share of their feeling depressed. Down. Sad. No energy. Despair. These feelings were linked to improper meds, stress, loss, grief, loneliness.
And I get it. If someone were to tell you they had never been depressed a day in their life, I’d question it. Seriously. Everyone at one time or another has had some type of depression, sadness, despair. It’s part of our humanness. Part of that “I’m-not-completely-content-with-my-life” attitude. I do believe a lot of depression comes from unmet expectations. We were expecting life to be this way and it turned out to be this way. I also believe we have put a lot on our plates. Daily. We get up with a long list and expect to have checked off everything on that list by bedtime. Or……or we’d feel let down. Disappointed. Unmet expectations. And then a bit of stress lingers through the night, whispering such things as “you know you didn’t quite get everything done. You’re not measuring up. Certain friends and family are going to be disappointed in you.” Then some depression sets in.
This morning I was directed to read a familiar Psalm – 42. You may have heard some of the phrases. “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for you, O my God.” Have you ever truly “panted” or longed for something so bad that you couldn’t focus on anything/anyone else? David felt that way when he penned this Psalm. It’s not real clear when he wrote it. It doesn’t matter to me, really. What matters is that he longed for the presence of God in his life right then more than water to drink. He longed for the comfort and presence of God. I wonder what that means – longing for the Creator God to be real in your life right now. More than anything else in your life.
I don’t know if many Americans in the twenty-first century get this. We are so driven by so much technology pulling at our thoughts, time, emotions, drive, that truly, how many of us have really taken the time to be still and know God? To be centered on just thinking about Him. About His creation. His power. What His Son did on the cross so I could be forgiven of my sins. Have you just sat somewhere and put down your phone, computer, i-pad, coloring book, and turned off the TV and just sat still? Have you ever thought about His power?
I have. But it seems I’m not very good about thinking about Him for very long. Yet, David said, “Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” Hope in God. Hope. Believing in something you can’t see but just know will come about. Hope in God. Well, personally, hoping in God means I hope in the One who created the Universe; who created my children; who created me; who brought my husband from New Jersey then Tennessee all the way to Houston so we could meet one day and fall in love and marry.
Hope. Trusting in. Believing in. And resting in. All His promises. Do you get that? It does take quiet. It takes refocus. Off self and on Him. On His provision. On His Presence. On His promises. All of His promises are true and He keeps all of them. When I quiet my thinking and focus on Him, I begin to praise Him for what He did for me. I begin to thank Him for keeping His promises. I begin to thank Him for creating me and for giving me my sons. And do you know what begins to go away? Despair. Disappointment. Depression. Oh, it takes time. But when I take some time to focus on Him. And thank Him and praise Him (praising means bragging on Him) then that negative stuff that stresses me and burdens me and brings me down begins to lift. Little by little and it is amazing how much my world seems to be more bearable.
So the daily list; the one you’re supposed to have checked off by bedtime? When your focus begins to be more on Him, your Creator God and His Son Jesus, then, you’re not so worried about getting every single thing done. You realize that perhaps not all of that was so important anyway. The dishes don’t always have to be put away by bedtime, or the bed made every morning, or even that you prepare a nutritious dinner (pizza once in a while isn’t so bad!) or that you did indeed eat that last bite of cake and blew your so called diet. The things you think are so important are not always the most important. Remembering to tell your children you love them, counting to ten before raising your voice, breathing and walking away before raising your hand in anger. You just begin to relax more and see the beauty of the important things.
The reality is…..He loves you so very much. He is the One who desires that relationship with you……just as you are. He just wants you to pant after Him every once in awhile until you just want more and more of Him.
God bless you!