Have heard some sad news…

What is on my mind? Feeling a bit sad to find people writing to me after a recent blog to say they have been told by their pastors that their depression is a sin. If you have been told that, please know it is rubbish. Not only that, it is cruel rubbish. If that is the persistent teaching on the matter, you should probably not try and dignify such madness with a conversation. You would probably be better off in a church where the leadership understands human fragility. Pastors don’t always like it when people move church. Sometimes it is the right thing to move even if the pastor throws a fit and puts pressure on you to stay…though if you are in perpetual motion that is a different matter! Settle somewhere, where the fellowship is supportive and you find good spiritual bread on offer that strengthens you, even strenghtens you to offer yourself to bless others in your brokenness.
Jesus still remembers a time when he was so sorrowful he felt he could die on the spot. I hope you hear the tone of his voice and heart speaking to you somehow this day. Remember too that same heart and voice is praying for you in the same tone. He ever lives to make intercession for you and for me… and even for the folk who have distressed you with their condemning words….
Actually I have come to see that those who have entered into depression are often the bravest of souls. Pstorally I have so often found it is the road from a past to which one cannot return or had to move away to a new place, a new state not yet arrived at emotionally, mentally, spiritually or even physically. However you found yoursef on that road, be it for reasons of chemical imbalance, or chldhood trauma, for reasons of circumstance or for one of many other reasons, may you know the empathy of Jesus. He is now annointed with the oil of joy. He got there! He has faith for you. If your faith has dried up, somehow may the faith of the Son of God ,who loved you and gave himself for you, be yours this day.
God bless

2nd hand prayer sometimes fits us well…

Over the years I have met believers in Christ who have gone through times of  deep depression. Are you in such a time right now? It is not a sin to go through times like that. Perhaps you need to hear that and allow yourself to put aside the biblical and intellectual ignorance of those who have added to your pain by suggesting. Perhaps allowing yourself to dismiss their comments as ignorance may help you to also gradually put aside their insensitivity and lack of compassion toward you. Ultimately those who speak in such terms are to be pitied  for their  lack of true heart knowledge of the surpassing wonder and beauty of Christ and His tenderness towards human fragility. Not all fragility is sin. Jesus was not sinning when He said He was so sorrowful He could have died right there and then. He still retains “a fellow feeling for our pains” as an old hymn puts it and “still remembers in the skies His tears and agonies and cries.

I read these words from Psalm 143 today. They record the prayer of someone who felt depressed, who felt their spirit within them was failing. It can be difficult to know how to pray at such times. Why not let the psalmist help you? I am sure that he wrote these words to help others as well as to worship God. Use them. Is everything he asks for legitimate for a Christian to ask for? To be honest I am not completely sure. But the words are real whatever else they may be and that means a lot to the God who hears and answers prayer. We can trust Him to hear and answer rightly.

Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens (my spirit fails).
Don’t hide your face from me,
or I will die.
Let me hear of your steadfast love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I have fled to you for refuge.

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your good Spirit lead me forward
on a level path.
 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
 Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
and destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

God bless