30/30: Depression. Ruts. Santa Fe Trail.

25 02 2008

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A number of years ago Kathy and I were traveling across Kansas and saw what was one of the most amazing historical sites we’ve been to…the ruts of the Santa Fe Trail. People used the trail from 1822-1872 to travel west and do the “little house on the prairie” thing, but after more than a hundred years, the ruts from their wagons STILL EXIST today. It’s great picture of Depression. We all have these ruts from our past, from natural tendencies and feelings and the ways we respond to life. Depression is something I have personally struggled with for as long as I can remember and these are some of the ruts I get stuck in…

I live by my feelings, instead of God’s promises.
• I compare myself to others, instead of who I am in Christ.
• I blame, instead of taking responsibility for my life.
• I focus on “what if & what’s wrong,” instead of enjoying the moment.

Even when I know the ruts are there, it’s easy to fall into the same old patterns that I’ve traveled down before. But we don’t have to follow the same old ruts. Christ wants to set you on sold ground and give you a new path to travel on. A guy named David was very familiar with depression, but check out his words of hope and healing in Psalm 40:1-3…

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.” In that moment David’s strength was gone. He felt helpless to change himself or his situation. He was stuck. He had run out of answers. What’s incredible is what God does…He responds to David and lifts him out of the pit of depression. God didn’t say ‘Buck up Dave and pull yourself out,” David described it this way…

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

God pulled him out of the ruts and set Him on solid ground. “I was stuck in depression, but now I’m walking forward in life. I never thought this was possible, but with God all things are possible. I’m amazed, because only God could have done this.” The questions for us today is this, “Are you tried of being stuck in those same old ruts? Do you desire a new path to travel on? Are you ready to seek help?” Just like Christ was there for David, He is here for you today.

If you are struggling with depression, the next step is to seek help. You cannot do it alone. God made us to do life and live in relationships with other people. Two places to seek help. 1. Fusion Groups at Epic are a safe place that you can go to build God centered relationships, where you can talk about the real stuff going on in your life and get the encouragement and prayer support we all need. 2. Christian counseling is also extremely helpful to unpack some of that stuff in your life and get practical help and healing. If you are struggling with depression, take action today to seek help. It’s never too late to be who you might who you might have been.

This Sunday…My Emotional Baggage
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