FREE STUFF FOR FREE99 – Dealing With Depression Series (Part 1 of 5)

I remember visiting my grandparents at their apartment and always finding new things they bought from a garage sale/swap meet or random items someone discarded as trash. Someone’s trash could be someone’s treasure. Not sure if it’s a Filipino thing but I know we can respond to the word “FREE” or “Sale” like someone was calling our name. =)

I tend to “store up” or collect things I like. As a kid, I collected marbles, Garbage Pail Kids trading cards, and comic books. My son who is 4-years old still likes to pickup rocks and quickly put them in his pocket, lest we catch him.

And I’ve realized that I’m a pack rat. I got stuff I forgot I had until I start looking for that “thing” I needed or when we moved alot until we got settled in Shreveport. =) I have a few boxes of just random miscellaneous stuff that saves me trips to Radio Shack. =) My wife calls them junk and ain’t afraid to throw it away. =)

Today, I collect knowledge and wisdom which can be a rare find these days. Beware of replicas or knockoffs! It’s like Indiana Jones asking me to be his apprentice and we travel to a foreign land to look for lost treasure.

I’ve got some rare treasure I’d like to share with you from my spiritual journey. My prayer is that you will look and dig even deeper if I point you in the right direction.

If you have been following this blog, we finished the first series of teachings that dealt with difficulty that we all face on a daily basis.

This 5 part commentary is by Harold Sala whose ministry (Guidelines Asia) is located in Makati City, Philippines.

Dr. Sala will give us biblical guidelines that will help us understand depression and how to deal with this invisible enemy.

DEPRESSION

“You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend” (Psalm 88:18).

The dark days of December can be a catalyst which brings to the surface all the negative thoughts that have brewed in the kettle of physical weariness and despondency. I couldn’t help thinking of that recently when I encountered three individuals who struggled with the demon of depression at the same time.

One was a respected musician and Christian leader, the composer of many hymns and songs with a list of theatrical credits almost as long as he was old who barricaded himself in his church office during Christmas week and ended his life with a gunshot to the head.

The same week a renowned pediatric heart surgeon, one of the finest in the world, unable to climb out of the pit of depression, took his life. This brilliantly gifted doctor performed 830 operations on children in 18 months with a 2% mortality rate. He had been featured on television documentaries and was worshipped by his patients. He was 45.

The third in this dark trilogy is a friend of many years, also a doctor, a cardiologist who has spent her life helping people along with her husband, a surgeon. Both served as medical missionaries.

The third is recovering, but depression for the first two was fatal. Whenever the world, to say nothing of our families and close friends, is deprived of the presence of so great an individual it is a massive collective loss. We pass laws to protect people. We monitor our water, our food, and our borders to insure safety, but laws or boundaries can’t protect us from the darkness demon of depression.

Elderly people whose health has failed and who have little to look forward to are classic sufferers with depression, but today it is not only the elderly but those in the middle years with success and significance.

Why does this happen? And what can be done to prevent it? No one could answer those questions in two minutes. Depression is complex. It is not a lack of spirituality, or a deficiency in comprehending God’s plan or purpose for our lives. Christians as well as non-believers suffer, though I am confident that there are resources which can help the believer survive whereas others give up entirely on life.

Every person is a composite of the emotional, the physical, and the spiritual. There are times when depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain—something a person is no more responsible for than are those of us who wear glasses or have corrective surgery because a heart valve isn’t working properly.

But depression affects your thinking as you begin to doubt what you know to be true, and see darkness rather than light, and live in a funk that seems to press upon you. Telling someone to “snap out of it” is as senseless as telling a drowning individual to swim. I’m thinking of the woman who poured out her heart, tears streaming down her face, as she said, “God knows I would snap out of it if I only knew how!”

Surrounding an individual who is encountering depression with understanding, compassion, and strength is a beginning in helping build fences that save lives and help restore health and sanity. Ignoring those who hurt or trivializing the problem only makes it worse. God is not indifferent to those who suffer, whether it is a brilliant surgeon, a gifted teacher or intellectual, or a gray haired grandfather who has worked a steady job over the years, whose health has failed and whose mental equilibrium has gone on strike.

There is both help and hope for the one who is depressed. While the road back may be painful and long, there is a way out of the darkness.

Resource reading: Job 17

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  • Grace Like Rain – Todd Agnew

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  • Sufficient For Me – Scott Cunningham

Hear my heart Lord, as I cry out to you

Hear my prayer Lord, and carry me through

In your mercy, and the promise You made

Be my strength Lord, when strength fades away…

Chorus

When I am weak, your strength is complete

It’s perfect completely all I need

Sufficient for me, Your grace and Your peace,

Is perfect, completely all I need, Your all that I need…

In my weakness, I’m finding your strength

In my sorrow,
a gentle embrace

Through the seasons,
of laughter or pain

You are listening,
as I’m calling your name…

Bridge:

When I am weak, I bow my knees, For when I am weak, You are strong

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:7-10)

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  • My Soul Thirst

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  • Ain’t No Sunshine Cover – Jamie Grace Featuring Moriah Peters

From YouTube description:

yay for friends! http://twitter.com/jamiegraceh

we both love this song! the original version and tons of the covers. when we were looking at what song we wanted to do Moriah brought this one up and i cover it a lot so it made sense! the only thing that didn’t make sense it the lyrics. pertaining to our lives, that is. 🙂 we then changed it to “when i’m gone” to relate to when we’re not spending that quality time with God. we couldn’t say “when he’s gone” because God’s never gone! it’s those moments when we don’t pray or read our bible… that’s when we’re “gone” and not having those moments with our Father

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  • Waves Of Love – Moriah Peters

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  • Courageous – Casting Crowns

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