Musings on Depression and Anxiety

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Many are anxious and depressed today. Mental health challenge is a reality… more so today than ever before.

It sure does not help a depressed person (especially when he’s a follower of Jesus, and already feeling guilty about being depressed) that depression is a sin. I was such a person. I was depressed and guilty about my depression. There are so many suffering in poverty, in famine, in wars, in sickness. Why are you, depressed, Marlene? What is there to be depressed about?

God is gracious. He walked with me in my depression even when I didn’t “feel” like it. As I went thru the dark night of the soul, God sent people to minister to me. One friend asked: What is your trigger? What triggered your depression? I learned that there are 9 triggers: grief/loss, rejection, stress, illness, lack of sleep, ruminations, money problems, life transitions, substance (drugs) use. (taken from…/depression-triggers/).

I believe that depression itself is not a sin. Many Biblical heroes were depressed. Moses asked God to kill him coz he was stressed with the complaints of people he’s leading out of Egypt (Numbers 11:14-15). Elijah asked the Lord to take his life (1 Kings 19:4) coz he was afraid and burnt-out. Job cursed the day of his birth (Job 3:1) coz he was grieving and sick. God ministered to all these people. He affirmed and provided for them in their depression.

Depression comes and goes in my life. I’ve been through grief/loss. My parents died within months of each other. I am a cancer survivor. I have experienced rejection and stress all through my adult life. I’ve learned to embrace my insomnia. Life transitions are a constant reality – job changes, getting married, motherhood, retirement, empty nest. Are these sins? I don’t think so.

I have observed oftentimes, anxiety causes depression. I have also heard people say worry is a sin. Why? Because Paul taught the Philippians: Do not be anxious (Philippians 4:6)… Because Jesus taught his disciples: Do not worry (Matthew 6:25-34)…

And so I searched and asked: Is anxiety a sin? Of all that I found, I believe the following article is closest to my heart…

Bottom line: God is with me in my depression. He alone brings me comfort and healing. In Him alone is my hope. And even when/if He does not heal me of depression, I know that He works out all things including depression for my good, so that I can journey with people who are depressed.. this is the purpose for my depression. This is the reason I do not want to waste my depression.

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