"...my heart is like melted wax."
"My strength is gone, gone like water spilled on the ground. All my bones are out of joint; my heart is like melted wax." (Psalm 22:14)
This past Saturday a very "happy pappy" brought this beauty to our church's Fall Festival. It was, by far, the snappiest, coolest, hottest, hippest, gnarliest, raddist, dandiest, smartest, slickest, neatest, smoothest, most outrageous and bodacious beast of burden in the parking lot that day. This pickup truck is so amazing and old that it takes several decades worth of superlatives to describe it. I could tell its owner was having a lot of fun with his big green "toy." (If you look carefully you'll see my Crocs match the truck!)
There are a lot of things that give us pleasure and help us enjoy life to its fullest. What are some of the things that do it for you? As you can probably surmise, photography has become a lot of fun for me, right up there with banging on my drums and making music with others. I also enjoy traveling with my wife and riding roller coasters with our family. Isn't it great that God created us to enjoy so many of the fruits of divine creation?
Yet sometimes folks will find themselves feeling like the psalmist, "my heart is like melted wax." It's almost as though all the things that used to be fun and fulfilling are meaningless now. It feels like they're just going through the motions of living. They could be doing their favorite activity with their favorite person and just feel "blah," or "so what?" They no longer feel like playing with their "toys." Sure, we all have a day or two now and then when we might feel like the psalmist, but when that feeling lasts for weeks or months (or years) instead of days, we call it clinical depression. The technical word for this particular symptom of depression is "anhedonia," the inability to feel pleasure. This anhedonia is also frequently accompanied by a spiritual crisis ---- the person may not feel pleasure, but they may also report that they cannot feel God. This can frighten them into thinking that they've, "lost their faith," or even worse, "that God has abandoned them."
Nothing could be further from the truth. We all have times in our spiritual journeys when we feel closer to God, more inspired by God, or more excited by God than other times. But this anhedonia can make a person feel like they've lost God. Psalm 22 is a powerful writing that portrays one of the best descriptions of depression I've ever read. The psalmist pours their heart out with frustration, anger, and pain. However, the psalm ends with an important twist. In the midst of the pain the psalmist remembers what God has done in the past and moves from there to proclaim that God can bring healing in the future.
There is healing for depression. If you are afflicted with the illness, know that God has not abandoned you. God can heal through many different means. Consult professionals who can point you in the right direction for that healing. Don't keep your pain a secret.
I pray that God will help me point the suffering toward the divine healing available. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
Check out my new video, "Teens Surviving the Storm"
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