Enemies of Health - Depression
Cause #1: Disappointments

Sometimes we are disappointed because our expectations are not realistic. Example: expecting your child to speak seven languages fluently by age ten. This maybe an extreme, however many people live in extremes and are therefore subject to a lot of disappointments. As Christians we are frequently unrealistic concerning our ministries.

Spiritually we are inclined to be very impatient, and so even though most of us do not fall into this trap everyday, we do fall into it from time to time. We look at the people of the Bible and sigh, we tend to think the everyday life of the people in the Bible was one long string of excitement. Then we become depressed because we aren't preaching to thousands. It is true, that Saint Paul lived an exciting life and did great things, but there were sometimes weeks and months or even years between each exciting incident. Some of the excitement he was involved in, probably felt like it would do for quite awhile, at least until the wounds healed. There were weeks of tent making and plodding, plain old putting one foot in front of the other. Moving step by step toward the mark of the high calling of God, toward the prize. Someone has said, that footprints in the sands of time are usually made by work shoes. One who just keeps on keeping on. Doing whatever their hand finds to do, heartily as unto the Lord. That seems like an apt description of Saint Paul. If we follow in the footsteps of Paul, doing whatever our hand finds to do, trusting the Holy Spirit to multiply our efforts; future generations may look at a record of our lives....... and sigh.

How do you think Saint Paul learned all the things he wrote? Do you think that one day he was just sitting by the lake and suddenly there was writing in the sky; Then he grabbed his pen and ink and wrote down, "let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right." Galatians 5:9 "For in due time we shall reap if we faint not." Come on now, you know that's not the way it happened. Paul learned about fainting and reaping from personal experience.

Happiness (the opposite of being depressed) is a by product of successful living and successful living happens step by step while you think God's word, speak God's word, and do God's word. Where disappointments are concerned, we need to know that failure need not be fatal and success is never final. There is always something more, so long as the earth remains and we have breath. We might be temporarily cast down, but we are never forsaken. One lost battle does not mean that the war is lost. It means gather up your forces and go forward.

In 1914 there was a French general who received a communiqué concerning the current situation of his troops. In his cabled reply, he said something worth remembering. "My center gives way, and my right recedes,..... the situation is excellent. I shall attack." God gave Moses the same advice. The water was before him, the host of Pharaoh behind. God said, "Go forward!" Moses was probably disappointed, panicked, AND depressed. It is entirely possible that he expected things to go much more smoothly. The Bible doesn't tell us what it was, that he cried out to God. I imagine it was WHERE ARE YOU, WHAT DO I DO NOW?

When we are disappointed we need to find out what God wants us to do, when and how He wants us to do it, and then do it. After that, it is God's problem not ours. Disappointments are cured by keeping our eyes on the prize, the goal, the vision and moving toward it.

Have you heard about the horse, whose cruel owner wanted to bury it alive? The owner dug a huge pit, with a ramp, he led the horse into the pit, blocked off the ramp and started shoveling dirt on the horse. When each shovel of dirt landed on the horse, it shook the dirt off, and stepped on it. Eventually the horse was back on level ground. We need to be like that horse, when disappointment lands on us, shake it off and use it to step up. Eventually we will be out of the pit and back on level ground.

May the Lord bless and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

Cause of depression number two: IGEB (ingrown eyeballs)