The following guest post was submitted by my friend and fellow blogger, Peter Stone. I discovered Peter’s blog a few years ago when was in the process of blogging about my personal experience with major depression (God Speaks Through the Storm). Peter has walked that long, dark road too; and now, fully recovered, he has dedicated an entire blog to help others. If you are battling depression today, you are probably feeling a million miles away from God. But don’t believe it for a second. It’s only an illusion. God knows where you are and is speaking to you, as Peter so beautifully illustrates in this post.
Just as waves batter the cliffs, depression frequently buffets its victims with feelings of inadequacy. I often lamented over what I used to be like, when I felt free and filled with purpose. When I had been serving as an assistant pastor, I felt of value to the Lord and that I was achieving something with my life.
More than anything I wanted to be normal again but instead was afflicted by disturbing mental, physical and emotional discomfort, all day, every day. I was certain that my mind and body were plotting and raging against me in spite. I remember looking at other people, whether in the flesh or on TV, and wishing that I was any one of them rather than myself. I considered myself useless, of no value, unable to do anything, the most worthless of all His children, while those others lived fulfilling lives.
I expressed the feelings I had towards myself in my diary.
8th Feb 1990 –
Oh Jesus, I’m so inadequate, so helpless,
I’m so full of fears.
I know they are there,
But how do I get rid of them?
28th Feb 1990 –
Oh Jesus, please don’t tarry any longer – help me!
How do You look at me now?
Are you angry with me for blaming You?
And for getting angry with You?
Or do you understand?
And love me all the more?
A few days later, Sunday 4th March, 1990, the Lord spoke directly to my heart through a prophetic word the pastor shared from the pulpit. I recorded the amazing, encouraging words in my diary a few days later.
7th March 1990 –
Sunday morning at church was good, and one prophecy must have been from Jesus to me only. The prophecy was, “God has heard how you’ve said you are useless, hopeless, the worst of His servants – useless to Him, and that He must be disappointed in you. How can He possibly love you? Yet He wants you to know that He loves you, that He sees all this as the stumblings of a child learning how to walk. He does not consider you useless.”
This prophetic message encouraged me greatly in the ‘here and now,’ that God was not disappointed in me, that He did still love me, and that He saw me as His precious child. The message also described exactly how what I was going through would benefit me in the future. Depression felt like the end of the world at the time, but it was in fact me stumbling through life as part of the learning process: learning to rely upon Him rather than on my feelings; learning to be content whatever my circumstances rather than fighting and fearing them. And going through the difficult process of breaking erroneous thought processes and allowing my thoughts to become captive to the mind of Christ.
So let us be encouraged, and rejoice in the love that the Lord has for us. Our lives may seem to be a mess, we may feel useless and worthless, but that is not how He sees us. He treasures us and loves us, He does not consider us useless. He understands what we are going through.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
If we are still suffering from depression, or afflicted by other trials, let us rejoice that we are beautiful in His eyes, because He makes all things beautiful in His time – yes, even us.
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)
Peter Stone has an international marriage, two children, and a cute insane cat. Currently suffers from epilepsy and otosclerosis. A Bible College Graduate he teaches Sunday school and plays the piano in church. His interests include sci-fi, Christian fantasy, history, and Japanese pop music. Having suffered from severe depression in the early 1990s, Peter now shares his route to recovery on his blog, ‘Christian Depression Help’ , where he offers practical advice and words of comfort to depression sufferers, in the hope of helping them to cope with and recover from depression too. Peter has also collated the articles from his blog into a free ebook on depression, ‘When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong.’
If you would like to submit a guest post for God Speaks Today, I would love to read it! Please click here for submission guidelines.