No doubt you've seen the news of different high profile people over the last few months taking their own lives because of anxiety and depression. It is a heartbreaking thing when anyone chooses to do this, and it can be especially shocking when it's people, who from the outside seem to have it all, come to such a place.
I have always been a bit of a music nut, and so over the years seeing some of my very favorite singers and song writers succumb to such darkness has always been such a confusing and gut-wrenching topic for me.
This hit particularly close to home for me, when a young Pastor down in California took his life this last weekend. He was a very gifted, a very blessed young man, who had many great things and people around and in front of him.
The unfortunate truth is, there isn't a "kind" of person that this doesn't touch. I've spoken with some people experiencing homelessness right here in our own city that are struggling with some very dark thoughts and feelings, but I've also heard the same kind of stories shared from successful friends, faithful Christians, and everyone else in between.
One of the most destructive qualities of depression and anxiety is how it attacks our perceived worth. When we wrestle with depression, we feel worthless, and therefore we struggle to believe reaching out to anyone is a good idea, because we believe we aren't worth anyone's time.
One of the other major problems with depression and anxiety is how it isolates us. We begin to feel like we're the only facing such a struggle, or the only one who has fallen so low, and the only one who is too weak to work our way out on our own.
The truth is, both of these perspectives are plain and simply... lies from the pit of hell.
First of all, there isn't a person on this planet who is worthless, certainly you are no exception to this rule. So when that thought comes to mind, remind and re-remind yourself, it simply isn't true. Second, you are not the only person struggling with this. Unfortunately, this is an epidemic affecting roughly 1 in 5 adults in the US in one way or another.
The staggering and unfortunate reality partnered with this is, less than half of those affected with depression or anxiety, ever seek any help.
Let's change that!
As Christians, we are commanded to help each other, and as Christians, we have been uniquely equipped to be helpful!
Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
1 John 4:4 says, "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
We are commanded to walk closely with each other, helping to carry the heavy loads of our fellow man.
We are also equipped with the Holy Spirit in us, to give us the words needed to share, the heart of compassion to help, and the power of prayer to bring radical change!
So let's commit to two things together...
One, when we're feeling down... let's remember that the lie that we aren't worth it, and the lie that we are all alone are simply that... lies.
Two, when we see someone near us seeming to be down, or when someone near us reaches out because they're down... let's respond! With both a desire to help, and an understanding that the real help comes from the Spirit of God in us!
We're in this together, so let's live like it!