Those who have experienced depression will tell you it’s like a light switch has been turned off in their soul. “Just get over it” is not an option. Thinking positive thoughts simply doesn’t cut it.
I’ve often wondered if Jesus is talking about depression when he makes reference to “how great is that darkness” in the passage below:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt. 6:22-23 (NIV)
Like so many passages in the Bible, this one can be taken literally and figuratively. If your eyes are bad (i.e. if you are blind) then all you can see is darkness; if your eyesight is good, you can see bright sun, blue sky, leafy trees – your whole perspective changes.
I think of the recently rescued Chilean miners. They were in darkness for 69 long, hot, scary days. When they were finally lifted to the light, they had to put on sunglasses even indoors to shield their sensitive eyes, especially from the bright lights of the TV cameras wanting to capture their every move.
How bright the world seems to those who have been in darkness! How full of joy and optimism the miners’ hearts were as they were literally rescued and brought from darkness to light!
“I buried 40 years of my life down there,” said Mario Sepulveda, one of the miners. “I think I have learned a lot of wonderful lessons about taking the good path in life.”
The same is true when God rescues us from the figurative darkness of ignorance and sin. Our hearts are overjoyed when we first begin to grasp the light of salvation and the hope, peace, and joy that come as part of the “complete package.”
But sometimes even as Christians our perspective slips. Our eyes grow dark again; we go through times of depression and sadness that nothing seems to help. Where is the One who will rescue us? How great is that darkness.
Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, cried out: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.” Psalm 13:1,3 (emphasis mine)
But God does not leave us in the miry pit.
Whether you fall into a literal pit or a figurative one, God is there to lift you out. Hold on! Don’t lose hope! The Rescuer is on His way.