I read that depression affects 21 million American children and adults and is the leading cause of occupational disability in the United States.
I also learned that Nebraska is ranked tenth highest for suicide rates (source).
Normally, people don’t like to talk about depression because it is a sad and harsh reality that many would rather just ignore. But when 21 million of our brothers and sisters (in the US alone) are suffering, I think we need to start talking about it.
I realize this will be the 3rd post I’ve written about spiritual warfare…and I’m not even sorry.
Depression has many causes and many of them are biological. But I think we often forget or ignore the spiritual aspect to depression.
A very wise person once told me that the Devil is like a greasy and creepy secret seducer. He comes around when you are weakest and alone, knowing that you are too ashamed or too scared to tell someone about him. He knows our weaknesses, he also knows that in order to stop him we need to acknowledge our weaknesses. In fact, we are suppose to tell people about our weaknesses:
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. –2 Cor 12:9
But so often we lock ourselves away in our sadness, we don’t want to seem weak or to have needs. We become upset at ourselves for our inexplicable sadness, if I was stronger I could overcome this.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. –Exodus 14:14
God wants us to be free from our fears and anxieties. He wants it more than we can ever want it ourselves. But God is a gentleman and He will never force us. He loves us so much that He won’t make us do anything, even those things that are best for us.
So what should we do? Open the door.
It’s time for us to acknowledge that the Devil has a deeper hold on us than we like to admit. Then with that knowledge, we demand that he leave. Go to Christ and give Him the authority
…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. –Philippians 2:10
The devil and his demons have to bow to the name of Jesus. That’s some serious authority.
Now, I’m not saying that you go to the chapel once, ask Jesus to throw out your demons, and you are instantly healed. BUT that totally could happen. Do we have enough faith to believe that He can do that?
Just like the devil moving in was a process, getting him leave will be a process as well. But Jesus is totally ready to clean house.
So while I respect and give credit to modern medicine and the immense gift it is, I also hope and pray that we remember the Divine physician and how much more powerful He can be.
Lenten challenge: take your weakness to Him and ask Him to heal you. And then be ready to be healed. Those who came to Christ to be healed were healed…and then Christ gives credit to their faith.
Prayer Against Depression
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.
By Saint Ignatius of Loyola