Out of the darkness

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied: free me from my anguish. ~Psalm 25:16-17 (NIV)

As many as one if four people may suffer from the disease of depression at some point in time in their life.

The news about Robin Williams has crushed my heart. I have known friends and family who have struggled with depression. There have been times that I even worried that they might take their life. With odds as high as one in four we all know people who are struggling, whether we realize or acknowledge it. Maybe you at this moment are in that dark pit.

What breaks my heart further is when someone feels that if they were just “stronger” or had “more faith” they could just pull themselves up out of the darkness. Even more painful is when they refuse to get help because it is a “sign of weakness.”

I know that the brain is a complicated organ. As I have watched family members struggle and have tried to help them seek relief, I know there is no quick fix and sometimes we have simply found a band-aide. For the moment.

Hearing about Robin Williams has stirred up panic in the very depths of me. If it has happened to him. It could happen to someone I love dearly! The news also takes me back six years ago to a pit of my own. I remember that feeling of reaching out to God to pull me out only to still be in that darkness. It took time to turn that pit into a tunnel that eventually returned me to the light. When I didn’t have hope, friends hoped for me. They believed even when I couldn’t.

The best thing you can do for someone you care about is to simply hold their hand so they know they are not alone. To hope even when they can see no hope. And sometimes to say…. “I once was so very lost, and I eventually found my way out…. ”

Heavenly Father, open my heart this day to those who might need a kind word or a hand to hold. Calm my own fears about those I love who are surrounded by darkness today. May they feel Your presence in that darkness and help them move through that darkness into Your Light. Thank You for reaching down to sit with me in my own darkness. Thank You for not leaving me alone, even though I may not have felt You, You were there. Thank You for seeing me, for knowing me and for loving me. Amen.

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