There is a very real struggle being waged by many, one that can overtake every area of a person’s life. I’ve seen it in those I love, in friends and family members who before they mounted this battle I may not have believed it would be one they would wage. That is depression: overwhelming dark days that are intense and long lasting.
I have walked alongside those that have been caught in the waves of emotion from which they cannot break free. I have come to understand a few things about this journey that I believe all should realize, most importantly those that are drowning in this sea of darkness.
That is that God is not disappointed in you. He has not walked away from you expecting more than you are able to give at that very moment. He has not, nor will He ever surrender His very nature of compassion, mercy and longsuffering. He loved you before this season, He loves you in this season and will love you beyond.
You see, He is not a fair-weathered friend, only willing to “hang” with you if you’ve got everything cleaned up, worked out and looking pretty. Quite the contrary those that Jesus walked with on this earth were messy. Yet He ate meals with them, laughed with them, cried with them, and shared the dusty road.
He loved you before this season, He loves you in this season and will love you beyond.
In fact what Jesus said during that journey is this, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
How many people do you know that are humble, gentle at heart? Not many I do believe. I love it that He offers rest for our souls. It’s exactly what is needed in this season, rest. No pressure, no piling on of doubt and discouragement, no quick fixes to a complex problem.
Who I believe my God is disappointed in are those of us that don’t mirror His nature. I feel pretty confident when we walk alongside not offering humility and gentleness but sure fired how-to, if-you-only, where-is-your-faith, He is profoundly disappointed with us. I know this because of what else God’s word says:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
We who have not walked that road ourselves need to step up to the plate. We need to act like the God we say we follow. We are family and family is born for adversity. We are friends, real friends, which means we love at all times, we stick closer than a brother. Not when it’s convenient or easy, but at all times – even the difficult ones.
So, to my friends that may find themselves walking in the darkness of depression feeling completely lost, know this, God is not, absolutely, positively, without a doubt, not disappointed in you! He understands more than anyone else can and loves you completely.
If you’re walking alongside someone in that place of darkness love him or her well. Be there without fail, hold a hand, share the tears, babysit their kids, walk their dog, take them meals, provide them rest. Never give up, and don’t ever walk away. That’s a grit and grace life. It’s the example set for us by the one who is love, perfect love, demonstrated by His very nature. He set the example, may we follow it. I know I certainly don’t want to disappoint, do you?