On Depression: When God Seems Distant
[Guest Post by Mary DeMuth] – Sometimes God seems distant. Here’s why.
When we lived as church planters in France, I felt abandoned by God. Why did He take me across the ocean only to abandon me? I read the Psalms where David lamented, and I deeply identified with him.
Oh how I understood his sadness, how far God felt from my day to day situation.
I grew depressed, despondent, and nothing seemed to be able to revive me.
Not the awesome food.
The beautiful scenery.
Or the sweet people.
I remember railing at God, nearly shaking a fist, wondering why-why-why He wooed us to France only to experience deep and unrelenting pain and stress.
In the aftermath of all that, I now understand.
God was testing me.
He wanted to see my mettle, how I would withstand the trials when He seemed far.
It’s a lot like when your parents said goodbye when you started to live on your own. They couldn’t be with you every moment of the day. They couldn’t be a nearby counselor. Because of your new independent status, you weren’t in that daily nearness. And from that perspective, your parents had the opportunity to watch what you were made of.
As I look back on France, here’s what I see now: explosive internal growth. God did show up, just not the way I wanted Him to, or expected. And as He held me through, He watched how I would do. He tested me.
Don’t think me any sort of hero, though.
I fell plenty.
I failed far too many times. I let depression hold me inside the villa, away from risk and people.
But on this side of the trial, I wouldn’t trade the experience.
This week I came across a scripture that confirmed this journey. Watch what God does in Hezekiah’s life:
“However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.” 2 Chronicles 32:31 NLT
When God seems distant or aloof, take heart that perhaps He is testing you.
He is preparing you for something bigger, better, harder.
You’ve graduated from simplistic Christianity to the college of life, and He’s finding great delight in watching you fly.
Mary DeMuth is the author of over a dozen books including her latest, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus (http://amzn.to/yxEeaz) Find out more at MaryDeMuth.com.
[Photo: photogreuhphies, Creative Commons]