Depression is no joke. It’s not something to be minimized or marginalized. It’s real. And it needs real solutions. I didn’t fully realize that until I experienced a bout of my own recently. Before then, I thought I could just shift my mind towards positive thinking, or get some sunshine, or watch comedies on TV. I’d even listen to uplifting music, like Saul did when David played the harp for him.
Those things help somewhat, but not entirely. They have that band-aid effect, because when the sun goes down, or the TV shows end, you’re still all alone grappling with those negative thoughts that return to you like a boomerang. I wonder if this is what Saul experienced whenever David’s music would come to an end. At one point, David’s music soothed the savage beast in Saul. But then, it became an object of his resentment. And, David became an object of his hatred.
Day 83 - 1 Samuel chapters 18-20 and Psalms 83
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And, Saul was no exception to this rule. He was riding high. Victorious. Powerful. Adored. He had the Spirit of God upon him, for goodness sake. It doesn’t get any better than that. But, somewhere along the line, Saul got caught up, as discussed in my previous post. His disobedience drove the Spirit of God away, and Saul was left feeling empty, alone, and unloved.
Once “distressing spirits” take up residence in your spirit, they open the door to some of their friends to come in and visit. Anger invites sadness. Sadness invites envy. Envy invites strife. Strife invites vengeance. They all come in and take over the place. Before you know it, your home is no longer your own. And, you feel powerless within your own spirit.
Saul was losing the battle with his demons as the depression escalated into thoughts of murder. The hole in his soul became like a cold, dark, empty cave. It’s hard to see the light when surrounded by such darkness. The winding path that takes you deeper into that cave becomes like a maze, and it’s impossible to find your way out. Without God, Saul lost his way, and he just continued to descend deeper and deeper into the darkness. The tall and charming warrior king became a jealous old man with murder on his mind.
Part of me feels sorry for Saul. He seemed so lost without God, and without the adoration of the people. Both of which were then bestowed upon young David. I don’t know what could have helped Saul. There was no forgiveness in those days. There was no grace. There was no power over evil given unto men. His fate was sealed.
Thankfully, that’s not the case today. When we get caught up, as humans invariably do, we can ask God for forgiveness. And, He will not leave us, like He left Saul. He created a way for us to come to Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He has given us His Holy Spirit to fill the empty spaces in our souls. His written Word is what I cling to when darkness tries to visit my mind. His wisdom is what leads me to practical real-life solutions. There’s power in that relationship, and I’m staying plugged in.
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