But for some, the dark pain of depression is worsened by the shame and guilt that can come when a Christian gets depressed.
Depression is a complex, multi-faceted condition, with many causes. Some become depressed in response to loss, or rejection, or battles that can never be won. Others experience growing depression as they fight a physical illness, or deal with a painful health condition. Still others have no idea why or how they became depressed. They only know that there is no joy in their life. The nights do nothing to renew their energy, and the burdens of the day drag on, with no hope for relief.
If this is you, take heart. You are not alone. Your depression is not a punishment. It's not sign you are refusing to live in God's will. And you CAN feel better.
Christians have physical illnesses and emotional hurts. Some show-some don't. But we all struggle with our fallen-ness, and we all live in a world where sin has consequences. Our bodies are not the perfect homes they were created to be, and our minds both believe, and refuse to accept what we believe. We know we're loved, and safe, and forgiven-but very often, we have difficulty experiencing those very truths. Instead, we experience anger, hurt and pain, and find little comfort in our relationship with the Lord.
Of course we want to do better, and feel better-no one who has ever been depressed would think it was an experience to be chosen! But how? How do we live in the joy of our salvation, in the comfort of His love, instead of tossing and turning in the dark night of the soul?
There are medications, to be sure, and they can help depression, just like they can help diabetes. But just like with diabetes, unless your life choices change, the medicine will soon be overpowered.
So what choices will help?
There are 2 main areas you need to address in order to heal your depression-physical choices, and mental choices. And you need to work with both. The physical choices include exercise, loving touch and healthy sleep, and the mental choices involve developing healthy rational thoughts.
Interestingly, there is one area that yields both mental and physical effects. And choosing to work in this area is the most powerful choice of all. It's the choice to rest in Him, to meditate on His word, to trust in His love and experience His joy.
But when you feel no joy at all, when your life feels dark and you feel alone, helpful meditation can be difficult to choose!
In fact, it may feel impossible, even hurtful. Just one more demand you can't meet. One more example of how stuck you are, and how you can't do whatever it will take to get out of this depression.
But you can choose to experience His love, and let it heal you, mind and body, heart and soul. With guided meditations, you can begin to rest in His healing. You can touch the joy, release the cascades of healing biochemicals, and begin to live in the pathways He created just for you.
Because He loves you. Even when you don't love Him. And His love is there, waiting for you. Right now.
Just like praying with a friend when your heart is too broken to speak, a healing Christian meditation can open your heart to His loving presence, and guide you into the joy He offers.
And once you begin to experience that joy, that love and protection, that peace and renewal, the path becomes more and more clear, and your mind and body begin to heal.
And you can live in the light of His love, in every area of your world.