Tuesday, September 20, 2016

God will never leave you in your depression or any other trial!


I am sixty years old and I was ordained to the gospel  ministry in 1984.  My pastor at that time said that it was, "a landmark ordination for our church."  Less than a year later I had severe depression and did not know how to fight it. When I was agitated and depressed, I used to read certain passages of the Psalms every day, and hoped they would deliver me. My depression got worse.  I knew that I had access to the throne of God through Jesus Christ and I took advantage of it.  I asked that the depression would be taken away.  By this time I could not sleep or eat and had no libido (these three occurring together are often a sign that a person has biological depression).    

 I turned to evangelical writings of the day for help.  They attributed depression to sin and also a flawed character.  I was ashamed!
I felt abandoned by God and by His church. I believe the devil was using this “apparent desertion” by God and man to try to get me to commit suicide. I kept fighting this atrocious act and had some relief from medication.  My wife Robyn and I believed that God had called me to be a pastor.  I tried to follow through with this high calling. I was asked to preach at what we hoped would be our first church.  Just before the weekend we had been scheduled to candidate at our first church, I told Robyn, “I can’t do it,  I cannot go.”
 I was suffering from a depression that refused to yield to the mediocre treatment, which I was getting at that time. Later when I had partial relief from my depression.  I called the chairmen of the pastoral church committee, the same church which I had sought to be a pastor and told him what was wrong with me. I said to him, “I would like to preach in your church and I know that you are still seeking a pastor.”  He said, "Rev.  Do you have a case of the nerves?”   I told him it was depression.  The church was done with me. 
My suffering continued for many years, finally I convinced a psychiatrist to try me on a new antidepressant.  After two weeks I was better.  After about a year, I decided to go off my medications with my psychiatrist’s blessing. Within a week, I was horribly depressed.  I was very suicidal and had to be watched by family members.
 I went on the same medication that had worked, this time it did not work. I descended into the black hole of depression.  Finally while in great suffering; I decided to get ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy).   Back then, you had to be an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital for getting treatments.  I was in there for a month and the ECT worked.
Please don’t try to convince me that mental illnesses are not biological.  I have been stable now for almost thirteen years.  I take four medications for my illness.  They do not cure me but they take the symptoms away.  They are not tranquilizers or meth amphetamines

 Image result for schooner in a great storm
In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way. Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may--winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers--no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. --Richard Fuller

The paragraph above was based on Scripture about perseverance, while in great trials, 
and helped me to trust God while I was in the dark. I fired my psychiatrist, got anew one and asked him to put me on Pamelor.  At first he hesitated and told me that I was under great stress and medicine would not help. But I remonstrated and he prescribed me Pamelor which made me feel better in two weeksI thank the Father of Mercies, and God of all Comfort for His great deliverance in the past present and the future.
Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?

God is...an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).  But He allows trouble to pursue us, as though  He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure, so we may be brought to the end of ourselves.  Through the trial, we are led to discover the treasure of darkness and the immeasurable wealth of tribulation.We may be sure that He who allows the suffering is with us throughout it.  It may be that we will only see Him once the ordeal is nearly passed, but we must dare to believe that He
 never leaves our trial. 

 Our eyes are blinded so we cannot see the One our soul loves.  The darkness and our bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest. Yet He is there and is deeply touched.  Let us not rely on our feelings  but trust in His unswerving faithfulness.  And though we cannot see Him, let us talk to Him.  Although His presence is veiled once we begin to spake to Jesus as if He were literally present, an answering voice comes to show us He is in the shadow, keeping watch over His own.  Your Father is as close to you when you journey through the darkest tunnel as He is when you are under the open heaven.  Daily Devotional  Commentary quote by Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles Cowman

Please check out our coming seminar on October 15, 2016. it will be a great time of fellowship and learning Scriptural truths that help explain depression and mental illness.


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