The silent epidemic - Hope 103.2

The silent epidemic

By David ReayThursday 3 Sep 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Jeremiah 15:15-18

15 Then I said,

               “Lord, you know what’s happening to me.
                  Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors!
              Please give me time; don’t let me die young.
                  It’s for your sake that I am suffering.
16          When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
                  They are my joy and my heart’s delight,
               for I bear your name,
                  O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
17           I never joined the people in their merry feasts.
                  I sat alone because your hand was on me.
                  I was filled with indignation at their sins.
18           Why then does my suffering continue?
                  Why is my wound so incurable?
               Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook,
                  like a spring that has gone dry.” (NLT)

Depression has been called the ‘common cold of the emotions’. It is common. There is no quick fix. Yet unlike the common cold, depression is not readily noticeable to an onlooker. It is a mistake to assume that a person who is depressed is down at mouth and sitting at home in a dark room sunk in misery.

It can be like that. But very often, those who are depressed seem to be quite normal on the surface. They may seem active and purposeful, and yet behind the façade is a despondency which can defy explanation or solution.

Depression is surprisingly common among Christians. It can be harder for them because they figure that Christians ought not to feel that way. Depression is seen to be a poor witness. Which brings us to Jeremiah.

This passage indicates he felt God had let him down. Circumstances were overwhelming. There seemed to be no hope. He had done the right thing but wrong things were happening to him. He doesn’t hide his despondency but pours his heart out to God.

There is no easy solution to the complex issue of depression. However, one lesson we can draw from Jeremiah is that we need to tell our God all about it. He is well able to bear the painful and uncomfortable and sometimes unorthodox feelings within us.

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It is no sin to be depressed.

David Reay