Depression in the Soul: Five Steps to Freedom
- Mary Lambrecht, M.S. LMFT
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"Wake up, you sleepyhead city! Wake up, you sleepyhead people! King-Glory is ready to enter." (Psalm 24, The Message).
In these words from The Message Bible translation, Eugene Peterson illustrates a hibernating city and a hibernating people. Inactivity, listlessness and unawareness prompts a needed pronouncement for a time of release.
Depression in the human soul can be a type of hibernation. Our responses to outside stimuli are slowed and even shut down. Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and low self-esteem beset us. Focusing inward, body, soul, and mind sleeps.
The book of Revelation, chapter five, speaks of Jesus taking the scroll out of God's right hand and breaking its seven seals. The scroll represents the redemptive plan of God in Jesus Christ. Only Jesus is worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals (Rev.5:9) because of redeeming us through His own blood.
God has also authored the scroll of our own lives. We are written on His heart. Through Christ's blood we are redeemed from sin and set free from the seals of bondage. Whatever seals our minds and hearts from being fully alive can be broken. The elders' and angels' response in Revelation to the opening of the scroll was to focus not on themselves, but on the Lamb: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!" (Rev.5:12)
When depression seals us with feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, perhaps the following steps could be helpful:
1. Spend extra time with God. Reading in the book of Psalms, listening to praise and worship music and prayer, are some ways to reconnect with Him.
2. Practice hopeful, positive thinking. Ask God to take negative thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and focus on past ways where God proved His faithfulness to you.
3. Ask God to show you one, small, practical step you could take to move forward in an area where you feel stuck.
4. Reevaluate eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. Are they healthy and in balance?
5. Reconnect with a loved one or a friend who is emotionally supportive and comfortable to be with.
If we let Him, God is able to take loving control of our lives. The former "scrolls" of self-defeating thinking and behaviors can be altered to allow Him to reveal His unique plan, purpose and power for our lives.
"Who is this King-Glory?
God, armed and battle-ready.
Who is this King-Glory?
God of the angel armies!
He is King-Glory."
(The Message, Eugene Peterson, Psalm 24)
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