Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness as well as a loss of interest. When depression begins to overtake human minds, there is a tendency to isolate oneself. Meanwhile, as you allow yourself to fall into one of these emotional slumps, your mind starts to expect the worst in every situation. Subsequently, a spirit of hopelessness can fill your soul, coming to the conclusion that all is lost.
So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a bottle of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulders, and he sent her and the [c]youth away. And she wandered on [aimlessly] and lost her way in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the bottle was all gone, Hagar caused the youth to lie down under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about a bowshot, for she said, Let me not see the death of the lad. And as she sat down opposite him, [d]he lifted up his voice and wept and she raised her voice and wept, Genesis 21:14-16.
Based upon the description of Hagar’s emotional condition in the passage above, Moses senses a woman’s dire belief that her baby boy is going to die. There wasn’t a clinic or emergency room available. Nor was there an app or cell phone to place a prescription online to numb Hagar’s pain. Hagar did want anyone in her position could do, cry out to God above as a last resort, praying for a miracle.
My son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you. 3 Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart. 4 So shall you find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight [or judgment] of God and man, Proverbs 3:1-4.
I battled manic depression throughout Junior High and High School. Each night for several years, I cried myself to sleep, wondering if my stuttering would ever end. Unfortunately, the older I get, life becomes more complicated which enables depression to return. As I experience failure after failure in my attempt to begin a new career in South Carolina, depression has overtaken me again. I’m not sure how many more rejections I can bear, but King Solomon provides instructions on trusting God. May this passage shine light into the darkness of depression. As for now, all I can do is pray for each new day.
by Jay Mankus