Deep in the pit of depression, does God see you?
Does God care about your depression?
Joe was on top of the world. Respected. Honorable. Good marriage. Healthy kids on their own. Successful businessman. Community leader. A fair manager and employer, Joe loved to work with entrepreneurs. Their youth, ideas, questions, and innovations excited him.
Until one day.
Without warning or provocation, a bordering rebel faction attacked Joe’s community. In an instant, everything was gone. A few well-placed missile shells leveled his compound, along with a good portion of the town. Stunned, Joe rushed across town to assess the devastation. Consoling family members of his dead employees, Joe heard the distinct undertone of more attacks.
“Take cover. NOW!” Joe screamed as he threw himself under a nearby collapsed structure, not knowing if it would be his last act.
Devastation surrounded him, followed by an eerie silence. He wandered among the destruction, trying to assist wherever he could. As the first responders arrived, he stumbled to the edge of the compound only to see the surrounding area smoking under more rubble.
Running as fast as his injured leg would allow, he approached his home—windows shattered and part of the roof caved in. He screamed for his wife! Ripping away the debris with his bare hands, he heard her faint call. Crawling over the collapsed porch roof, he spotted her on the floor by the bay window. She was alive but pinned awkwardly beneath a table.
More than 24 hours later, Joe and his wife received word that forced them to their knees. All seven of their children were killed in the bombing.
This real story happened several thousand years ago to a man named Job. A man who wondered if God cared about him.
If it was terrible and it could happen, it happened to Job. He had it REAL bad.
We watch him wonder what God thinks about his state of affairs and his depression.
While struggling through my depression, I read the book of Job. For the first time, the book made sense to me.
Phrases like, “I wish I’d never been born. Everything I feared has happened to me. I’m utterly helpless, with no chance to succeed.”
Job’s steady right hand, his wife, even told him to give up his integrity, curse God, and die. Job was depressed and alone on the earth. Job experienced deep grief and depression.
One of the lies the Adversary wants to perpetuate in your life is that God could care less about what happens to you.
Satan whispers questions to us like, “Didn’t God say He’d always protect you? Then why did He do this to you?” And some days it’s hard to not agree with that evil, misinformed logic.
Job asked God, “why.” So, I think I’m in good company.
At the end of the book of Job, when God finally speaks, He doesn’t answer Job’s “why” question. But, God doesn’t strike Job dead because of his questions, depression, or grief. God reminds Job of His presence, greatness, and intimate involvement in Job’s life.
The only way I climbed out of the pit of depression and kept from jumping back in was to run to God. And I continue to do so every day.
Does God care about your depression? Here are some truths to replace the enemy’s lies.
God knows your pain.
King David says in Psalm 56 that God keeps track of all my sorrows. Read all of Psalm 56. God tracks your pain and records every one of your tears. He desires you to bring them all to Him so He can give you a new perspective.
But that’s not what the enemy of your soul suggests. He wants you and me to believe that God could care less about what happens to you. When you are depressed, it’s easy to accept that lie. After all, you feel like you care little for yourself, so why should a supreme being give a hoot about you? But God knows your pain.
God loves you amid your depression.
Picture a throne room with a mighty king sitting on his throne. If you approach him, will he raise the scepter and smite you or spare your life? He will save you through the pain Jesus endured. God’s scepter, Jesus, was raised once for every human being ever born. The enemy of our souls wants you to believe that you must pull yourself together before you can approach God. As I hit bottom in my depression pit, Jesus stood next to me, opened his arms, and wrapped them around me. I wasn’t alone in that pit as I believed. The dirty, disheveled, snotty-nosed mess that I was at the moment, Jesus held me close. His words brought life to my soul. He’ll do the same for you.
God desires to journey with you to wholeness.
When I realized that God was in the midst of my pain, this Psalm gave new hope:
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
The enemy taunted me that God wouldn’t walk with me. Satan wanted me to think I was hopeless, too far gone to be restored. Your depression, like mine, may not recede overnight. The decision to become whole was a one-step-at-a-time journey that I took with God. Many days, I leaned heavily on Him to take the next step. And you know what? That was okay. Each time I pushed into Him, I felt His strong arms supporting me. I’d ask Him to show me something just for me that day, and He always did. Small things to let me know He was present with me. I was never left to journey alone.
God says you belong to Him.
How the enemy hates this one! He wants you to believe that you’ve done something so horrible that God disowned you. Not true. Jesus refutes this claim by telling us that He gave His life for each one of us. His purpose is to provide us with a rich and fulfilling life. So, when you fall and scrape your knees, Jesus is there to bandage you up and give health once again. Jesus also says that no one can snatch us away from the Father. No one. Not even the enemy of our souls. Isaiah 43 says that God has called you by name. You belong to Him.
God never gives up on you.
When Joshua and the Israelites stood on the edge of the Promised land, God told Joshua He would never leave them or forsake them. Again in the book of Hebrews, the writer reiterates this promise. God says He has written you on the palm of His hand. He will not forget you or give up on you. You may not always feel as close to Him at other times. When that happens, the Accuser whispers that God walked away, but nothing is further from the truth. He’s only a call away. God knows your voice. He wants to talk to you and listen to you. He is the only one who never gives up.
What does God think about my depression?
It is a perfect way to help me seek Him and find hope, restoration, and peace in His presence. As I run straight into His arms, He changes my perspective. He teaches me to praise Him for the small victories today.
Paul, the apostle of Christ, said he begged God to remove the thorn in his flesh. Yet each time, Paul heard God say that thorn taught him about God in the pain.
God cares about your depression.
While we don’t choose the pain of depression, illness, infidelity, addiction, or something else, if we take it to God, He will bring goodness and health out of the circumstances.
Remember, He walks with you to wholeness.
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.
If you’re in the pit, please reach out to someone who can help. It’s dark down there, and the sides look too slippery and impossible. I know. I’ve been there, but I got out. And I’d love to help you get out. I’d love to encourage you. Zero judgment. Zero condemnation. I’ve been there. Together we’ll reach out to Jesus and walk with Him toward wholeness.