As I write this (November 2) I’m finishing a three-week course on church history at a local Bible College. The Lord has blessed the class and we finished teaching today with only an exam to take on November 4.
I’m used to teaching two-week modules so I expected to be tired emotionally and physically in week three…..
I also expected to be depressed.
I don’t suffer from clinical depression, but do struggle with discouragement and depression. Yesterday morning I woke up discouraged. There was no anger or rage, I just lacked all motivation to do anything. For much of the morning I was down and somewhat lazy (thankfully class went well).
Experience had taught me seasons of depression will come into my life….and I must work through them.
Yesterday afternoon that meant lots of coffee, making myself do work, and talking with family and friends through text. Later that evening it meant reading about the life of David Brainerd.
He was a missionary to the Indians who suffered from serious physical illnesses (probably tuberculosis) and severe depression. His journals revealed a man who suffered greatly physically as well as emotionally. But he did not allow those struggles to defeat him.
The passage I read last night was about a great revival that took place within the Indians because of David Brainerds faithfulness. Because he refused to quit, God gave a rich blessing.
I am not against medication when it comes to clinical depression, I have dear friends who take it. At the same time I know my own depression and discouragement can be overcome by prayer, and focusing on the Lord like David Brainerd.
The Lord reminded me yesterday of a very important lesson when it comes to ministry…..
there will be bad days
- There will be days when you feel like quitting
- Days when nothing works
- Days when Satan says your worthless
Yes those days will come
but they don’t have to control us!!
Around 5:00 the depression lifted and I was able to feel human again 🙂 Part of that was because the caffeine had kicked in. And part of it was because the testimony of David Brainerd reminded me the bad days will pass.
This morning I woke up with a clear mind and heart ready to serve the Lord. But even if hadn’t I’d still push through the bad days. Because the fog will eventually lift.