June 8, 2020by Reverend Dan on June 8, 2020
“Anyone who is among the living has hope.”
“Trudge” isn’t a word we hear or use much anymore. It means “walk slowly with heavy steps, usually because of exhaustion or harsh conditions. A difficult walk”.
The reason I bring it up is because someone recently said to me that he felt like he was simply “trudging” through life. Every day the same, each one a little harder than the one before. He said he didn’t feel like he had much to look forward to, and when something small happened to give him a few minutes respite and reprieve from the languor, it passed quickly. Then before long he was back in his same old dull, boring, routine, a little sadder than before. He felt like he was simply “existing”. Life had lost its joy and he felt hopeless.
This is the saddest of all statements I hear; that someone has lost hope. It is a sign that something in their lives has made them feel that tomorrow holds nothing for them. I hear it in many different statements: “Why bother?” . . . “There’s no use trying.” . . . “I’m just wasting your time, nothing will help.” . . .”I give up.” They are all saying the same thing: I’ve lost hope.
The people who say this begin to isolate themselves, they stop all their normal activities, and this sends them into a spiral that perpetuates those feelings of hopelessness. They feel like they’re all alone in the world. They feel like nothing will help, and so They stop trying things, and suddenly it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I wish I had some great, inspirational words to make people feel better when they reach this point. I wish they could see through my eyes – and more importantly God’s eyes – that their life has value and purpose and that all hope is not gone. I know the weight of that feeling must be heavy; even crushing. Like you’ll never be able to breathe again. But I want to encourage you that God promises us that “Anyone who is among the living has hope”.
If you’ve come to this place in your life, I encourage you to do a number of things. First, contact your primary care physician or any medical professional. Tell him or her what you are experiencing and what you’re feeling. They are compassionate, caring people, and there are ways they can help.
Next, reach out to someone you are close to. You may feel like no one cares, but they do. And you won’t be “bothering” them. People want to help. Find someone you trust like your pastor or a close friend and unburden yourself. A problem shared is a problem lessened. You don’t have to walk through this alone.
Finally, I’d encourage you to take these two scriptures and read them over and over and remember that God has never and will never leave your side.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Romans 8:38-39 I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
I read once that, “depression is the result of hopelessness, joy is the result of hope, and peace is the result of faith”. I pray that if you are at what feels like a hopeless point in your life that your faith will restore your hope, and that joy and peace will follow you all the days of your life.
“Father, Today I pray that you will bind up the broken-hearted and help them to find healing and hope and peace in Jesus’ name. AMEN.”
If your depression has caused you to lose a job, drop out of school, lose touch with family or friends, or if you’ve noticed changes in your sleep and appetite that have not improved, contact one of these free resources to learn more about treating your depression.
· Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment services locator is an easy and anonymous way to locate treatment facilities and other resources, such as support groups and counselors, to treat and manage depression.
· National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
If your depression is leading to suicidal thoughts, call the National Hopeline to connect with a depression treatment center in your area. The Hopeline also offers a live chat feature for those who don’t want to (or are unable to) call and can dispatch emergency crews to your location if necessary.
· National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
This national hotline is another valuable resource for people whose depression has escalated to suicidal or other harmful thoughts. Their network of crisis centers provide emotional support and guidance to people in distress and are also available via a chat service and a special hotline number for the hearing impaired: 1-800-799-4889.
· National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
Youth are one of the most vulnerable groups to depression. If you are a youth, there is a hotline established especially for you.