I have prayed for a long time for God to take away my depression. Will my depression end?
When we are struggling with depression it may feel like it will never end. Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to the beach for a few days. I love to watch the waves from the ocean flow to the edge of the shore. The waves start out huge but by the time they reach the shore they calm down and eventually fade back into the ocean. This is a snapshot of how depression can flow in and out of our lives.
Depression is a common and serious medical condition that can affect our behavior and attitudes. When we are depressed, we may find we are unable to concentrate, feel irritable, and have a negative outlook on life. The way we feel on any given day can shift, leaving us with feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and apathy. Depression may even have physical effects including sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, or lack of energy. All of these are symptoms of depression.
While it is good to bring our need continually before God, we should also realize that depression can last for prolonged periods of time. In the meantime, we can find help to manage symptoms. One of my favorite examples of God’s care for someone struggling with depression is the story of the prophet Elijah. Following a major victory, the prophet sank into deep depression and despair (1 Kings 19:1–5). He had just defeated the prophets of Baal, and God answered Elijah’s prayers for rain. But soon after this victory, he found himself on the run again. Fearful for his life, he traveled to Mount Horeb. During this time of depression and despair, God sent an angel to care for Elijah in three ways with sleep, rest, and food (1 Kings 19:6–8). God used this time to help Elijah regain his strength so he could be ready for his next assignment.
The same God who cared for Elijah knows, loves, and cares for you as well (Matt. 7:11). God also gives us resources that can help strengthen and carry us when we walk through times of difficulty. If you are in the midst of depression, seek professional help and support from your loved ones. Receive the comfort and care the Lord provides during difficulty (Matt. 11:28–30; Ps. 4:8; Phil. 4:7; 2 Cor. 1:3–7). Like Elijah, we may need extra sleep, rest, and food. But through it all we can be certain that God loves and cares for us when we are weak.