Can you imagine living in a house that’s wired for electricity but the house sits in darkness because you didn’t go to the breaker box and flip on the switch? No lights. No appliances. No air conditioning. No power.
That may sound a bit crazy, but I think we do something similar when we don’t deal with discouragement in our life. When you feel like you’re never good enough, when people are talking down about you, and then you join in with your own negative, critical thoughts about yourself, it’s as though you’re wired for God’s power but you’ve not turned it on.
The moment I knew I needed help was when I was laying in bed one night and I realized I was crying. My life on the outside looked so great. Every dream I had ever imagined had come true. I had a husband, children, a nice house, and was able to stay at home with my little ones. Why were tears pooling at the corner of my eyes? It was then I realized the darkness of depression had found me and it wasn’t my fault. In fact, after visits with doctors, I was able to regulate my hormones and brain chemistry with medication. Yes, I was a Christian, had faith in God, and still needed medication.
Imagine yourself on a large ship in the middle of the ocean. In your possession is a small box containing what’s most precious to you. Perhaps a small fortune of gold lies inside. Perhaps a single photograph of a grandmother who raised you from birth. Perhaps the box contains the crown jewel of your life’s work. Perhaps a former wedding ring. Whatever your treasure, imagine that by some untimely movement, in one sudden and unthoughtful moment, you knock this box over the ledge. Imagine the dread, the panic, the plummeting of your heart as you watch it tumble overboard.
We live life at high speed.
Often, we don’t realize how our frenetic pace can influence us. Though technology can benefit us, it can also create noise that makes meeting with God, and hearing from Him, next to impossible.
How Busyness Gets in the Way of Hearing From God
Today you may not feel free. There may be some things that you are fighting, things that you want to get free from–addictions, anxieties, lack, fear. No matter what battle you are facing, let this be the day you declare your freedom. The apostle Paul says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). You may have to stand and press through for a little while. You may have a spiritual battle on your hands, but know that freedom is yours the day you declare it. Let freedom ring loudly in your life and embrace the victory He has in store for you!
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).
Jesus lived and died so that we can experience abundant life. How often do we pass over those words without stopping to grasp the amazing truth they hold. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. God’s plan is for us to thrive in the midst of the days, months, and years we call life. A continual feast of joy – with every breath we take.
“O you of little faith” is our English way of rendering just one Greek word, which Jesus may in fact have coined — a mash-up of the words for little and faith. “O you of little faith” are the small-trusts, the meager-confidences, the weak-believes. I often find myself among them.
You can recognize them, first, by their anxious care (Matthew 6:25–33). Though they walk in a world where birds feast and flowers dress like kings, they find themselves easily troubled by their own needs. Does God see them?
As my counselor welcomed me and sought to understand my depression, I felt the worn, oversized seat beneath me. I rested my arm on its soft leather and thought of two metaphorical chairs.
One chair was comfort and safety. The other was vulnerability and faith. There’s always a story behind how depression creeps into someone’s life, and I was about to share mine.
We all go through things that are unfair–people do us wrong, the company let us go, we came down with an illness. It’s easy to live with a victim mentality, thinking we’re at a disadvantage, we were shortchanged, we can’t do anything great. We can’t love again, because the last person hurt us. We can’t live happy, because we’ve lost too much. As long as you accept that you’re a victim, you’re going to get stuck. Don’t use what you’ve been through as an excuse to feel sorry for yourself, to limit you, to not pursue your dreams.
As a Bible teacher in our church, pastor’s wife, and speaker, I come across women on a regular basis who struggle with feelings of inferiority and worthlessness. In spite of the fact that many authors and teachers address the issue, from my perspective, the struggle seems to be more prevalent now than ever before.
I can think of several reasons for this—including that we live in a culture where human life is not valued as sacred. The threat of being “cancelled” on social media, along with news headlines about sexual abuse even within “Christian” settings only makes the situation worse. Many people, not just women, are subjected to all kinds of maltreatment and even exploitation.