As clear as today, I remember a young teenage girl that I coached many years ago. She was struggling with family issues: her father was a drunk, her mother stressed and depressed, eating disorders plagued her, all resulting in a severe case of depression.
As if these weren’t difficult enough, her biggest challenge was ‘why’ God would not heal her from her constant sadness. She had a hard time understanding why she had to be so discouraged and low every.moment.of.her.every.day! She shared with me, “Other girls have difficult families, and they aren’t depressed. Why me?”
The circumstantial situations in her life were not enough to answer her.
As we met over a period of months, this struggle grew bigger and more difficult.
I asked the Lord to show her the reason behind her depression. I pleaded with the Lord to give her insight into her difficulty so that she could at least have peace amidst the sadness.
Then the ‘ah-ah’ moment came. God powerfully answered her. As we were reading 2 Corinthians 1:3-10, I saw this young girl’s frantic anxiety come to a complete calm. The calm resembled the disciple’s experience when Jesus immediately brought to a stop the storm, the waves, and the sea.
What did she discover? What did she find? We read:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
And our hope for you is firm because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Strangely, learning that her suffering had purpose was not her peace; nor did knowing that her depression would benefit another’s suffering help her. Having God’s comfort was not what comforted her.
While all are true; these were not what gave her an ‘ah-ah’ moment. Let’s continue reading.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.
As she and I walked through this part of the passage, I pointed out to her that even Paul and his companions despaired of life. What they felt resembled a hopeless depression within their being. They were sad, scared, anxious, and morose. Clearly, even the great Apostle Paul knew depression.
Again, this girl asked me, “But why? Why would God allow such a dark feeling come over him and his companions? We continued reading.
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
Suddenly, a whoosh of peace swarmed over her entire being when she read these very words. She looked up at me and said, “I now know why! This depression is for me, not against me. It is so I will depend on God, not myself. This sadness in my life is so I won’t forget Him!”
I exclaimed a wholehearted, “Yes!” This girl gleaned an incredible lesson from this one simple but powerful sentence!
I continued to share with her that God was her strength. He was her joy. Being centered in His will is her happy place.
Everything around us can be falling apart, but in Him, we find the strength to endure until “He delivers us from the deadly peril…”
Likewise, we have confidence that “He will deliver us again. On Him, we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us…”
Over the many years I have coached (or Biblically counseled) others, this one session stands out most to me. This experience was like watching a miracle happen right before my eyes.
It is true, “the words of God giveth life” to the desperate soul. “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Proverbs 3:1; Matthew 7:8).
The challenges this girl faced in life did not go away. In many ways, her situation got worse. She still struggles with depression. Her deliverance from the sadness has not yet been given; but she learned something: to look to God.
He is her source of light, for “In His Light, we see light” (Psalm 36:9). The minute she takes her eyes off of Him, her darkness grows darker. The key for her and for you and me in times of trouble is to keep our eyes looking to the Light, and then “the things of this earth will grow strangely dim.” Moments of peace are gifts from heaven.Moments of peace are gifts from heaven. Click To Tweet
What are you going through right now that is plaguing your every.moment.of.your.every.day?
What in this passage has swarmed a calm over you? Please share in the comments. Your insight is another’s comfort. Thank you for being real!