I know many of you have been praying for us, and for that we are very grateful. Thanks too to those who have sent words of encouragement too.
I’m torn between two emotions at the moment:
ONE: this corps, its people and its mission, is worth fighting for, worth pressing on with, especially so close to breakthrough as we potentially are. We hear sounds of rain in the distance!
TWO: that I feel that I’ve got nothing more to say. More than that, I’ve no energy, nor sometimes even the will to say it.
The first is a holy emotion, its what I know my whole being longs to shout. I know some of the reasons for what is going in right now, because the Lord has graciously revealed some of them. Its all in line with what he has been saying all year. Its all prophecy coming to pass. It makes sense, and I know that the right thing is to emerge from this two weeks victorious over any scheme of the enemy and advance the salvation war at this crucial time. That is what I always do…come up fighting.
Yet the second emotion, whilst it doesn’t appear to me to be a Spirit-led response, still carries a message to my heart. I have mentioned before that I have suffered in the past from depression, mainly carried over hang-ups from my heathen past that the Lord is still working with. I often, more than not, have victory over this tool of the enemy. Amazingly though, I find myself in good company…the likes of William Booth and the prophet Elijah were themselves often victim to depression. Well meaning folks have suggested that I see the doctor, and I would if it were not for the fact that I know the Lord will and does take control of it, transforming it into something useful…holy passion. He has promised that my healing will come through ministry.
However, the alarm bells that ring are those that begin when, through the actions of Christian people and the weight of Christian ministry, the depression starts to take control. Therein lies the paradox. But lets remind ourselves that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers, spiritual forces of darkness in high places. The trouble is that those powers influencing our corps are severly under threat and they don’t like it. This is the real aspect of spiritual warfare.
For me, this two weeks is a needed oasis to allow the Holy Spirit the time to take control again. A week past Friday, I, like Elijah, sat under the broom tree and told the Lord I’d had enough…a point which the Lord used to begin whispering his secrets to my ears. I need to be able to see things more and more from a spiritual perspective…to see what lies beneath.
My fault in all of this has been in allowing it to happen. For four months now I have been almost debilitated by this depression, not being able to do anything other than what I must. I haven’t been able to play with my children, be a proper husband to my wife nor be the officer that I know that God has called me to be.
So, what is next for us? Well, right now I need to go through the process of allowing the Lord to restore that which has been lost or stolen. I’d love to be getting back to work next Monday, please pray for that, but more than that, I’d love to be returning full of the Lord’s strength and annointing…if that will take more than a week I need to be brave enough to say that I need more time, especially right now as we are getting underway with our Christmas operation. The temptation is to leap right in, because I love Christmas and the opportunities it brings.
The scripture that I must quote is as follows: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” – 2 Cor 4:7-12
Interestingly, these verses were prayed over us at Roots by our good Armybarmy friend, Stephen. They speak to us, at this time, about the need to return for God’s glory, proving indeed that it is He that works in us, and not that of ourselves.
So…we wait on the Lord.
4 thoughts on “Thank you…”
Hi AndrewIt is such a hard place to be at – and I speak as one who knows. I fully understand the being torn part. The hard part is when the depression robs you of your joy with your family. It is not a spiritual weakness to have to seek medical attention when depression takes over in this way. I went through this experience due to continued pressure (my source of stress however came from a Senior Officer and others and not from within our Corps) our Personnel Sec at the time gave me this advice from his own journey. To help combat the pressured he uses what he calls the DIMES theory:D – Diet (sometimes when you are passionate about ministry it is easy to grab something on the run – however it does have an effect on your whole well-being we have personally started the “Greek Doctors Diet” – helped alot)I – Interest (outside interest)M – Mentor (find a good mentor who you can be completely honest with and trust etcE – Exercise ( we walk sever KM’s each day now and this helps to kick the depression – however couldnt start it straight away as I was too flat… but did after awhile)S – spirituality (looking after your own spirituality – we minister to others and need to be nourished ourselves)I am now almost recovered but did have to have some medical treatment which was only temporary but it did get me over the worst part and then I was able to put the above principles into practice – which I couldnt do immediately as I was too far gone -You should also check out “The Real Live Preacher” blog – he shares is journey of depression and ministry with some honesty I found this helpful as you often feel alone…. http://www.reallivepreacher.com/archivesDont be too hard on yourself – if you need more time dont feel bad about this – it is better to return to ministry when you are feeling up to it rather than endeavour to battle on when you are not strong enough. Do hope you have some supportive people in your DHQ or somewhere that can minister to you in person.Anyway – hope some of this helpsGod Bless and will keep you in my prayers.Glenda
Sending a hug and a blessing to you all. Eleanor n/TSSF
You’re on our list AndrewSome scripture to keep you going”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.” If it would help to talk give us a call.Love and prayers A
Just clarify one thing for me, please. Are you suggesting that it is wrong to seek medical help for depression?