Wednesday, February 1, 2012


"It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."  -John 9:4

At the office I can feel the eyes boring into me.  As I walk my neck gets tight, hands shaky and my palms sweaty.

I walk into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and try to understand what's going on inside.  Maybe just by looking into my own eyes I can see it, I can find it and fix it.

For me it's just another day living with the specter of depression.  It never leaves fully.  And when it's gone, it leaves scars.  Scars that always make me ask the same question, "What is wrong with me?"

The past couple of months have been on an emotional roller-coaster that has my head spinning and my feet groping for some solid ground.

I've wrestled with depression nearly my whole life (not always knowing that that was what I dealt with), but still no matter how many times I've been down the road to Funky-Town, as I like to call it, I never get used to it.  I've broken my arm, separated my shoulder multiple times, had a number of concussions and nothing hurts like depression.

Those who suffer from depression suffer from an internal bleeding of the soul.

Now I don't want to be too dramatic, but when you're in the middle of the Town of Funk, you can't help but be desperate.  And I find that spiritual fixes don't work either.

Don't tell me "This will all work out in the end" or that "This is for my own good."   Don't ask me if I have any "unrepented sin in my life."  Are you kidding me?  Who doesn't.

That's why this verse above has always been a bandage for my soul bleeding.  To hear Jesus defend the blind man with these words, whispers, no shouts, his compassion.

It also speaks of Jesus' hope.  God is in Funky Town.  God is in my life.

No matter how much I prod and poke my soul in my desperate search to find out and fix what's wrong, He's here.  He's never left.

Not only is God close in these moments of desperation, but he pleads my case.  And my guess is he argues something similar to the passage, "It's not that Philip or his parents have sinned, but that God's works might be displayed in Philip."

This is the other side of soul bleeding, that my internal pain and suffering can result in God's work being done.

As I look one last time in the mirror and wash my hands, I think, "There is hope, I will see.  You will see Philip, just hang on."

"My soul clings to God, his right arm will lift me up." - somewhere in the Psalms


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting to hear of some of the godly men who have struggled with depression. There seems to be an element of awareness of sin that truly does become a display of God's strength made perfect. It also is interesting to think of the amazing artists, musicians, authors whose craft displays such amazing things sometimes influenced by the very darkness they feel trapped in. We'll be praying for you all and the many transitions you are in the midst of. God is clearly using you. Just an observation. ( I can't leave a post like this comment-less even though I don't have much to say)

Philip said...

Thanks for the comment! And for the encouragement that God is clearly using us.

For some reason you came across as "anonymous", so I'm not sure who you are.

I don't think you don't have much to say on this topic as your observation is spot on: God's strength is made perfect through growing awareness of sin. His strength and compassion is also highlighted as we grow more aware of our desperate need for God through dark times.

I read this in Job this morning: "Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face." This encourages me to take my dark times directly to God.