Depression & Anxiety – Part V

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The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Prov 16:9 (NASB)

Larry Burrows, in the movie Mr. Destiny, strugled with depression over missing that ball.  “If I had just hit that ball…I would be king.”  His life had taken him in one direction when he wanted to go in the other.  The result was he was not the company president, was not marred to the prom queen, and was not wealthy.  Instead, he and his wife lived the ordinary life.  He had an ordinary job, and lost that as we ordinary men sometimes do.  He made decisions he later regretted.   Larry had plans, but those plans were derailed when he missed that ball.

Every man has regrets.  If you do not have them, you are not human.  Life offers you choices, and you must decide which direction to take.  Often, we regret those choices, and find ourselves thinking “if only I had taken that other road…then I would be king.”  None of us have Mr. Destiny come along and offer us a peak at the other possible outcomes, though.  And certainly none of us get to go back and undo the choices we made.  We have to suffer consequences for our choices.  This often leads to depression.

Let me share an example of one of these instances.  I graduated from Seminary and ended up serving on a church staff part time as a singles minister.  I just knew this was going to turn out good.  The plan in my heart was that I would be here part time, and then become a full time staff member.  So, along comes a job offer in the secular world that was by far the best opportunity of my entire life.  At first I was not interested at all.  They persisted.  I started to contemplate this offer seriously and in the process became very interested in the job.  In the process I started to realize there was little chance this part time position would ever materialize into a full time situation.  Just like Larry Burrows, something happened I cannot fully explain.  I did something very stupid in the interview process and lost the opportunity (very much like that flash in the batters eyes in the movie).  Later, the ministry closed to me when this church let me go hiring a younger man to handle the younger singles and the church eliminated the older group and my position.  This episode is a trigger for me for depression even today.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Phil 3:13-14 (NASB)

What we have to do in these instances is hold to the truth of Scripture and apply the principles therein to our lives and emotions.  We need to work to “forget what lies behind…” and “press on toward [WHAT?]…the upward call of God…“  Yes – the upward call of God!  Not the next opportunity; not the next blessing, but the call of God!  Larry did not understand that had he hit that ball, the blessings in his life would have never happened.  It did not matter what he thought he needed.  Many people today think “if I could just win that lottery – then I would be king.”  But the reality is that many (if not most) people who do so receive instead of what they see as a perfect life a ruined life.  They end up divorced, bankrupt, and worse off than before.

The key then?  Learn to be content:

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.  Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ” I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

Heb 13:4-5 (NASB)

Let me point out, too, the context here; this was written within the context of marriage.  So not only are we as couples to be content with the provision of God in our spouses, but we are to be content with the financial provisions God has granted us as well.  You may have wanted the prom queen in high school, but God knew who was the perfect provision for you.  And whatever financial context you are in is also to be seen as God’s perfect provision for you and your marriage (and this one is a point of trouble for me personally I have to confess).  Rejecting this provision is sin, pure and simple.  And it will lead to a world of consequences, including depression.

Why do we need to discuss an individual thing like Depression and Anxiety in a marriage forum?  Because it affects both spouses and endangers the marriage itself.  As a spouse you need to study and seek the truth in order to help your spouse deal with this issue, and while both of you will benefit, your goal must be to be a blessing to your depressed spouse.  A simple hug and caressing should not be overlooked either.  Above all, the spouse seeking to bless their mate who is struggling with depression must always remember and apply:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Phil 2:3-4 (NASB)

This post was written by

kc5lei – who has written 50 posts on One Flesh Ministries.

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