The combination of daily grind and spiritual pressure pushes down on us until the weight of our own actions ends up crushing our very being.
In my battles against depression I have bought into the lie that the best way to combat it is to try harder to work for The Lord. Logically it made sense. After all, when I focus on making an impact and serving others my eyes are removed from myself, right?
Somewhere along the way I bought into the lie that God just wants my very best, and that for me to be a good Christian I needed to try harder to be better when I felt worse.
So naturally, for a person with nearly chronic depression and illness, this could only lead to implosion.
What was described as "my want-to being broke" had hit. Motivation to serve The Lord was waning, the drive to pursue Christ was slowing, and my level of frustration was mounting.
The go-to fixer for depression was trying to read more scripture, to get out and serve, and to spend more time journaling.
I've been told this by ministers that I respect, yet it all neglects one crucial element.
There is healing and peace found in being still in the presence of God. When I cease striving I am able to more clearly see God. Although my actions impact others, they do not draw me closer to God, and they sure as heck don't heal depression.
I wish that more people realized that it is ok to stop for a little while. To simply sit in the presence of God. It is not selfish to tend to our own souls. How can we share of a Jesus who promises rest when our own lives display a frantic and panicked lifestyle?
Jesus does not want us to live good lives.
He wants to do that for us.
In fact He has already done that, and continues to do it through people.
These people are those who have surrendered though. For them, their Christian character is an afterthought. They don't have to try hard to do anything, as the love that is at the core of their being fuels everything.
Even churches teach this false gospel.
If you are a good Christian, if you want victory over your struggles, if you want peace in depression, then go to church more, pray more, read the Bible more.
Instead, I believe that the key is not to be a "better Christian" or to kick our struggles, or to be rid of depression. I believe that that the whole point of everything is for Christ to be visible in it.
The bigger the cracks, the more visible the light within.
It takes a completely broken vessel for the light to shine unhindered.
Instead of battling depression with more scripture, I think I might just stop trying, and rest. Maybe there is truth in the scriptures that say to "Cease striving" and know that He is God.
Maybe there is real healing to be found by just falling as a prodigal son into the arms of the father rather than trying to explain ourselves.
Maybe we can learn from Jesus himself if we allow ourselves to be Mary - simply sitting at his feet, instead of a Martha who is so consumed with action that she misses the man Himself.
I certainly don't want to miss Jesus because I was is busy trying to please Him....