During the Darkness

Since so many people have responded to Tuesday’s post about depression, I thought I would continue to discuss this widespread problem.  Many are suffering silently and I think it’s important we talk about what we should be doing during the darkest times of our lives.

I think we can learn a lot about what to do when we find ourselves in the midst of depression from Jacob’s precious son, Joseph, in the book of Genesis.  (See Genesis 37-45)

Joseph’s own brothers threw him into a pit and then sold him into Egyptian slavery.  He then spent several years in prison after Potiphar’s wife accused him of seducing her.  I doubt there were any caution lights for Joseph to see blinking before ‘life happened’ and he found himself in the darkest of dungeons.   (Bet that was pretty depressing!!)

What I find the most interesting is how Joseph recovered after these nightmarish situations.  Not once, but TWICE and neither occasion were his own fault!  Both times Joseph came out of the depressing circumstances better and ready to tackle life with a purpose AND A GOOD ATTITUDE.

So what was he doing while he was a servant?  (Can you imagine going from your position in life today to a slave in a different country?  YUCK!)  And what did he do during the YEARS (not just one…several) that he was in prison for a crime he did not commit?

It is obvious that he did not sit around feeling sorry for himself (well, at least not for long).  God blessed him in the midst of the trials he endured.   I’m sure it was not easy to keep a positive attitude and confidence that God knew what He was doing.

The Lord knows that many times (most of them bad) I question if God cares that I’m in pain.  I end up blaming God or trying to make my situation better without His help.  This never works.  I need to shift my focus from the how and why to a ‘what now?’

So many of us wake up one day and find ourselves in the hole.  Yes, we should have heeded the warning signs, but since the world is often such a noisy place, we seldom hear the signals that would keep us from hitting rock bottom.

What do we do once we find ourselves in the dark?

  1. Deal with our pride.  We have to let go of the idea that we can do life all by ourselves and that we are in control.  Guess what?  We aren’t.  It okay to let go and let God.  There is freedom when we surrender to God and allow him to guide our steps.
  2. Acknowledge our fear.  Yes, this world is a scary place.  I do not know exactly what to do in all situations and that is okay.  If you accept that there is a Heavenly Father that is looking after you, life gets a lot simpler and not so scary.
  3. Embrace the downtime and make the necessary changes.   Rest, recover and rely on God to show you His plan.

Depression is often the result of too much…too much stress, worry, going, competing, climbing the corporate ladder, keeping up with the Joneses, and trying to be people we were not intended to be.

We are all God’s children.  We are each one of a kind.  We are all loved by the One who made us.  And we all learn best by suffering through painful situations (it stinks, but so true).  Use these dark occasions to understand who you are, whose you are and what you are doing here.

Keep your eyes on the Father, continue to read His word, worship Him, pray to Him and seek His view on your unique situation; because it is not all about us…it’s about Him.

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 14:31 – He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

5 Responses

  1. As a woman who lived a lot of her life discontented and waiting for the next best thing, I can tell you that God did not mean for us to go through this short life that way. Everything and I mean everything is some type of blessing from God. It either is an obvious blessing or it is a difficult circumstance that, if we seek God during that time, is perfectly mastered by Him for us to learn to lean fully on him. I wish I could really articulate what I am learning by living with stage 4 breast cancer but I can tell you I’m at peace. For those that know this OCD, control freak girl, that is a miracle in itself!!! First and foremost, Let Go! I can’t cure my cancer and you can’t get out of your depression alone. Sure, God gives us all kinds of avenues on help ourselves but that is to go hand and hand with surrendering. I cross paths with people and get new information constantly that helps me battle my disease. Coincidence? NOT!!! I have never felt anything but peace during my journey. Sadness? Yes, of
    Course! I have a truly God Given husband and two beautiful children. That I don’t want to miss a second of life with. But what was the sadness God felt when he sacrificed His son?? And what sadness he feels when we don’t trust Him. I thank Him constantly that it’s me and not one of my precious babies. There is a blessing in all trials and like Job and Joseph it is for God to
    obtain that complete trust in Him. Pray and read God’s word daily!!! He will speak to you!

    • Thank you for your words of wisdom Susan. I pray in Jesus’s NAME that HIS Healing Hand touches your body and Heals you: Body, Mind, Heart and Soul! God Bless you! Jeremiah 29:11

    • Susan – Whenever you want to write that book about living with Stage 4 cancer, you just let me know! I LOVE seeing God work in your life! AND I love the example you are for others to see how choosing to give your life to God really does conquer the devil and all the fear, darkness, hate, worry and havoc he puts in our lives!!! It’s easy to dwell on the negative, but if we really are putting our focus on God we are blessed with His armour and protection. Thanks for your wonderfully crafted comment!!! Love you, girl!!!

  2. Another home run. Your suggestions are real and they work! (obviously speaking from someone who has spent way too much time in the dark)

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