One of the biggest secrets hidden away in the framework of Christian churches is the fact that yes, even Christians, grow weary. It is dressed up with phrases like "feeling low," "feeling down," "in a rut" or "the blues." No matter the phrase, the medical term could be some form of emotional ailment.
Let me be perfectly clear with the fact I am not licensed to medically diagnose nor treat any type of medical condition. However, I have a unique insight to this condition. As a minister I have counseled more Christians than I can count who were dealing with some form of emotional ailment. The counseling always ends the same- seek professional help.
I was taught by the Church in my younger years that emotional ailments were always a sickness of the soul and true Christians could never simply suffer from them. If that is your belief I do not want to offend nor sway your opinion, so you may want to stop reading now.
I began a secular job in the mid 1990's that exposed me to nearly two decades of dealing with thousands of people of varying backgrounds, education, age and experiences at some of the most vulnerable times of their lives. I learned quickly that many suffered from emotional ailments and were too embarrassed to talk about it. My job required complete confidence and assurance to the person that all information shared was protected by the Federal Privacy Act and I never would nor ever will break that trust. The "anomaly" or "abnormality" for me was learning many of these people were Christians from all denominations and served in positions from Senior Pastor to parishioner. Depression was not simply just a sickness of the soul.
Certainly depression, in my opinion, can be caused by some spiritual conditions. We can read First Kings Chapters 18 and 19 about the Prophet Elijah. He went from an all time Spiritual high in an amazing battle that reminded the Northern Kingdom of Israel that the God of Abraham was still the only true God to running and hiding in the desert with no food nor water, alone. Over the next few weeks I will focus on Elijah and some possible reasons his suffering from what I and many others believe to be depression.
I understand the Bible tells us Nehemiah spoke in Chapter 8 that the joy of the Lord is our strength. What I do not understand is why we do not apply that to other medical conditions. If we suffer from type 2 diabetes why don't we use that strength to avoid sweets and therefore possibly use less medication? If we suffer from high blood pressure why don't we use that strength to exercise and lose weight and use less medication? Medication is not always the answer and I always encourage prayer, Scripture reading and Faith for daily living no matter the quality of our health.
In the end, Christ is always the answer no matter the problem. I have seen spontaneous healings, medications prescribed and nearly everything in between. Understand if you are reading this today and do suffer from what you may think to be an emotional ailment you are not alone. That is a fact not an opinion. There are many Christian counseling agencies that do fine work, God's work. Help is there. Be brave and be blessed.
Pastor Chris Blevins writes a weekly column for HD Media. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.