by phil russ
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The lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4 NIV)
"I want to die!"
I shouted out these words, whilst sat on a bridge, overlooking the railway line. I had come here to throw myself in front of a passing train.
The pain in my spirit felt crushed. Hopelessness and despair had set in. Unable to control those racing thought of suicide. "Let me die God!" I shouted out, tears streaming down my face.
I was suffering from severe depression. This mental illness had taken a stranglehold over my life. I was drowning into deep despair.
Several times during the early part of my depression, I came so close to death.
Often I found myself with a carving knife pressed against my throat or pushed against my heart. Beads of sweat would run down my face, and voices in my head would say "Go on, Do it! Do it! Your torment will be over, death is your only escape now".
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5 NIV)
Depression must be one of the deepest; darkest experiences, anyone could ever go through. But through that hopeless dark place, God is there. He brings hope where there is no hope, and when you are no longer in control, by his Grace and love, God takes over and carries us through it. He is right there in the centre of it all; surrounding you with is love and care. He will keep you safe from harm.
Our heavenly Father loves us, no matter what. Even when we are incapable of praying or having any relationship with Him, God is watching over you. He is infinitely patent. By his Grace, He will sustain us with His enduring love. And even when we don't recognise it. God is always there. He will wait patently for us, whilst we regain our own ability to control ourselves, and to begin to focus on Him. When we have to take one day at a time. He is patent.
God didn't take away my depression, but carried me through it. Even though I didn't see it at the time: He was fully involved, protecting me by intervening at those suicidal attempts. Now when I look back over those dark days of depression. I can see God at work.
Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2Cor 1:4 NIV)
Now, because of those experiences, I feel I can help comfort others who suffer from this dark illness. I am able to see right into their pain and know how it feels. I can bring God's love to them, and offer a renewed hope to their lives.
Father, we thank You that we are never alone. That you promise to always be there, even if we can't see it. We thank You for your comfort and the knowledge that no matter how deep in despair we are, You will be there with us, carrying us through it.
We know that in you, there is always hope. For just as your comfort flows in our own lives, so also through You, our comfort overflows to comfort others. Amen.
Today, if you are suffering in some way, just remember that God promise's to comforts us and that He never wastes any experience, good or bad. God will use those experiences, to bring Him Glory, and to enable us to bring hope and comfort to someone else.
© 2006 Phil Russ
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Dear Russ, The words...."but carried me through it." are such a wonderful key to what God does for us, his children. Our personal, loving God, has carried my son "through" his mental illness; thirty years of schizophrenia. And carried me as well!! He lifts us up in his spiritual arms, and lightens our worry and pain! He also just kisses it away sometimes. I do not mind carrying my share of the yoke, and this way I know how others feel, and I can come alongside them with my love and caring. I just want to agree with you that it is Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit, that does carry us through our pain!! I also have a best friend with depression; she takes her meds and is a Christian sister that is holding onto joy with her relationship with God. I wish you a wonderful walk with Christ, and it sounds like that is what is happening. Keep sharing with us brother!! Take care,and Happy Thanksgiving! Jacque