Sometimes it feels like a pit. And it’s often not an easy one to escape. Whether ushered in by unforeseen circumstances or the result of a clinical diagnosis, depression and anxiety have touched us all. But this week’s message reminds us that this pit is only a chapter, not a conclusion.
As singles, we have each experienced loss – through death, divorce, or our unfulfilled dreams of happily ever after. For many of us, life has not turned out as planned.
It didn’t for the prophet Jeremiah either. In fact, his depression became more than a chapter, it’s a book of the Bible – the book of Lamentations. In it, Jeremiah cries out to God again and again, seemingly without hope. “Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, ‘My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!’” (Lamentations 3:17-18 NLT) Jeremiah is in a pit of despair, and he continues to fall deeper into it as he ruminates on the destruction of Jerusalem. This ongoing lament fuels his state of depression – and we may do the same without even knowing it. When we talk about something or someone, we are bringing it to life – whether good or bad. That’s why negative talk is so destructive, especially if it doesn’t even reflect reality.
As we learned from Aaron Brockett’s sermon On Edge: Freedom from Anxiety, just because something feels real doesn’t mean it’s true. Yes, we all have struggles, and in times of loneliness and isolation our lives may appear hopeless. But we’re never alone. God is by our side every step of the journey and He is pointing us toward a path of healing. “Depression is not a pit, it’s a tunnel,” Aaron said, “God will meet you in it and heal you by helping you walk out of it.”
The healing process also involves people. We don’t have to suffer alone – Jesus didn’t. In his darkest hour in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wanted his friends to stay awake with him as his crucifixion grew near. He longed for connection and companionship. We do too, especially in our most difficult moments.
So if you're struggling with depression or anxiety, remember that it’s only a season – it’s not forever. “Never put a period where God puts a comma,” Aaron said, “The cross of Jesus Christ looked like a period, but it was a comma.”
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is thy faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:21-24 NLT)
To view this week’s sermon, click here: On Edge: Freedom from Anxiety
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