You're Not Buried, You're Planted

If you struggle with depression and anxiety, it's no laughing matter, but sometimes you have to try to find the humor in it just to keep yourself somewhat sane.  

Some days during the last couple of years, I suffered from such crippling depression that I couldn't even muster the strength to get out of bed.  So I'd negotiate with my legs to slide off the bed and start doing the work to support me so I could make it to the bathroom.  

"Just don't quit working halfway there," I'd tell my legs.  There were a few times when I was sure they wouldn't listen.   

And there have been days when my anxiety was so high that I thought I might burst through my front door, down the steps, and run through my neighborhood screaming incoherently.  

Most of the time, the thought of doing so was enough to quell the desire within me, but not every time.  My neighbors have no idea how close they came to experiencing my full-on freak-out.  

I've spent my fair share of time in dark places regarding my struggles with depression, anxiety, and the like.   And I've also realized that the battles I've fought are nothing compared to those many others are waging daily.  

It's hard to understand why you are going through what you're going through when you are going through it.  I know that sounds odd to say, but it's true.  Sometimes it takes the benefit of hindsight to understand your struggles better. 

I read this interesting quote by Christine Caine the other day, and I've been thinking about it ever since:  

Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you've been buried, but actually you've been planted. 

Now, if you think I'm saying that struggles with depression and anxiety are opportunities to grow, you're partly right.  But we should be careful with this analogy because it's too easy to assume that God is somehow planting us in those dark places.  

It's better to say we "get planted" without assigning an agent to the action.  God doesn't cause all things, even as God is present in all things.  God doesn't place us in dark places but can help us grow out of them and into the light. 

We can grow out of those dark experiences as we get the help we need, the support we require, and the strength to rise out of the dirt.   That's resurrection in action, friends, and God is still in the business of resurrection.  

May you face your struggles today with a sense of anticipated victory and unparalleled peace.  May you find your challenges as opportunities to burst forth from dark places and into eternal light.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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