Tuesday, January 29, 2013
My wife shared a story with me this week about the friendship between the great hymn writer, John Newton and his friend, William Cowper. William was an equally great poet, hymn writer and Christian, but I had never read his story before.
William also struggled with depression that plagued him his entire life. The dark cloud of depression never left for William. For some reason, although he knew the truth of God's word, he thought his situation was different, that he was under God's judgment. He wasn't able to escape the darkness.
We all struggle with the storms of life, but most of us have days of calm, times when the sun is shining and we enjoy its warmth. There are others, like William, who never see the sun, even on a clear day, but live with the constant and heavy weight of depression.
There are a host of scriptures that deal with this, but the passages that have helped me when darkness sets in are the words of David in Psalms. I think, like Cowper, David struggled with depression, discouragement and times when he thought life was over. I think we all have those struggles and to help us God included David's journals in the bible. We call it the book of Psalms. They are rich with the cries of a man depressed. They ring with joy at times of happiness. David was a man after God's own heart, he wanted to know God and sought him, but he also struggled and voiced it. I'm so glad God heard David's voice and shared his words with us.
Men like David and William Cowper encourage me with the knowledge that God knows and cares. Even in the dark hours, the times of grief and depression God is there to comfort and help us. He is our hope, our refuge, our fortress.