Pastor Idleman has been writing in Chapter 4 about realizing the power of God that is right in front of us.
This morning I awake with a concern on my heart. I spent some time last night with a younger friend who has a wife with a chronic illness. For years, she has suffered from a crippling physical ailment and now my friend’s life revolves around weekly doctors visits because she is not getting better.
Last night over dinner, he started experiencing pain down his lower back and legs to the point that I wondered if I was not going to have to have a little trip to the emergency room.
However, we were out to eat and we ordered our food and he was able to eat his meal. Before eating we prayed over the food as is our custom. This man is part of a group of Christian men [including two pastors] and we have a habit of thanking God for our food. I was the elder man at the table because the two pastors were absent so I grabbed his hand and thanked God for the food and asked God for a healing for my friend.
He said after the prayer that he felt something. He felt better. I hope so.
He suffers from physical pain but he also [like many Christians] suffers from depression.
Do you ever talk to yourself? I know I do. Turn to Psalms 42 and listen to the psalmist talk to himself: “Why are you so downcast?”, “Why are you so disturbed?”, “Why have you forgotten me [God]?” and “Why must I go about mourning?”. Sound like a depressed man?
I think so.
I watch my friend interact with others. He tells me and another friend his problems and we listen. I offer no advice. I just listen and hope that the telling does him some good. Then the meal is over and we move through the restaurant to pay our bill and all along the way he sees people that he knows and he stops and tells them of his pains. I have seen this before in people who have chronic pain and people who are depressed. Turning to acquaintances and even strangers and telling them your troubles. What good does it do? No good at all.
The psalmist in Psalms 42 finds a way to deal with his pain, his depression. He takes it to God.
I wonder one day if my friend will do what the psalmist does at the end of 42–put his hope in God and praise God, for God is his Savior.
No spirit of depression can destroy that covenant relationship we have with God, no fluctuating mood can overpower our special connection with our Savior.
Will he ever see that?