Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: Playground for the Power of a Mighty God
By Nathan Perkins
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I give the name happy to a lot of things. At one of the meetings that I go to, a collection plate is passed that people put ďhappy dollarsĒ into. All the money then goes to charity.
I have a happy tie. I wear happy shoes. I note happy moments. And I guess you could say that I pay happy dues.
Do you think that I am a happy person?
I suspect that there will be some people who will get it right because they may be familiar with the process of marking and noting those things that are happy. These are the people who often get by only by taking their happy pills.
I suffer from depression. If you have heard the recently broadcast commercial for a leading depression medicine, it is true when it says ďdepression hurts everywhere.Ē
I am happy to be able to say I can talk about it. It is something that people do not understand. I think that many of the people who seem to not understand are not as happy as they pretend to be.
Some of my saddest days were after I started experiencing depression and before I was able to admit that I was depressed.
My happy shoes were not happy. The happy moments were few and I could not seem to find that happy place. So, I had to look for a reason for why I wasnít happy. That was a long and tiring process as I blamed and excused every sense of failure. I wasnít even failing. Itís just that I felt like it.
Friends who donít understand depression are a miserable clumsy mess when it comes to the things that they say. Some friends have accused me of having unconfused sin. If they had only known the depth of heart searching that a depressed person goes through they would be ashamed for their own lack of introspection. They themselves might have some sins of a judgmental attitude or of arrogance to confess.
People try to cheer me up. I appreciate the effort but I wish for their sake that they would not set themselves up for such a useless activity. I would also like them to realize that their effort to cheer me up puts unfair pressure on me. If I fail to be cheered up I either have to risk disappointing them or I have to fake cheer.
I say all of this because I believe the depressed person knows better then most people what it really means to be happy.
Consider how Job found pleasure in things that are so easily taken for granted. Instead of looking at all of what he lost in his most devastating days, he realized it was the Lord who gave him what he once enjoyed. He realized that it was a God given experience that he was grieving. He lost only what was once his by God grace.
For me, I am startled by joy in the Lord. He sends profound beams of light through the armor that darkens my soul. That armor can only be penetrated by the miracle of Godís mercy. A depressed person may have a hard time showing a genuine smile. It might even be as hard as a person trying to smile through physical injury. God often shines his super penetrating beams of light by the glowing smile of a caring friend. Iím happy for those friends. I donít even know some of the people who smile Godís brightness towards me.
I am so happy for a loving family who is strong when I canít be.
I am so happy for a family who loves me enough to put up with me when I am miserable to be around.
I am so happy for a God who reveals his strength in my weakness.
I am so happy for the opportunities my depression has afforded me for understanding what other people are going through.
Did you know that sleepless nights are often studded with star filled skies?
Did you know that a depressed personís weakened resolves, also known as humility, can be a playground for the power of a mighty God? Thinking about that makes me happy.
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