The words “height” and “depth” have been sticking out to me lately in Scripture and in songs ever since a conversation with one of my dearest friends this summer.
After getting to spend the evening with this friend, while driving her back to where she was staying in Anchorage, I opened up with her on a heart level about the depression I went through last spring.
I shared the fears I carry about not being able to control my highs and lows. As we stood on the front porch of the apartment building saying goodbye, she prayed a heartfelt prayer on my behalf. I’ve been deeply touched in the days since at how God spoke to me through her prayer that night. In it she quoted a verse from Psalm 139, reminding me of the promise that God is with me whether I am high or low. Her prayer went something like this:
“God, please help Marissa to realize that whether she goes up to the heavens, You are there. If she makes her bed in the depths You are there.”
“Make my bed in the depths”–that’s fitting. Sometimes depression feels like you’ve made your bed there and that you are camping out for an indefinite amount of time.
It reminds me of some other verses I’ve been reading over and over recently in Romans 8. Romans 8:35a starts with a question:
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or in danger…?” (NLT)
I know I have been tempted to wonder if God still loves me when I’m facing depression. I pondered that exact question last spring.
But Romans 8:38-39 goes on to say,
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)
Would you describe where you’ve been emotionally as being down or low? Do you feel stuck in the depths today? No matter what you do, you can’t climb out? Maybe you just don’t have the will to even try anymore.You’re not sure why you are there or how long you’ll be.
Or maybe you are like me–experiencing a high at the moment but hoping you won’t be in that depressed place again soon.This past time of struggling with depression revealed to me again how uncontrollable my depression is. After years of researching what the causes of my depression are–from emotional healing, grieving stuff from my past, retraining and being aware of my thought patterns, exercise, nutrition, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, tons of supplements, and more, I have left no rock unturned. After all this searching, it is disillusioning to admit that I don’t know why I went through it again.
I may never have answers this side of heaven of why I continue to struggle with depression. But there is one thing I can be sure of…I will never be alone.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Corrie ten Boom, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. She said,
“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Reach out and take the hand of the One who waits for you to realize He is there. His heart is broken for you. His hand upholds you. He won’t let go.
I will end this post with a prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians. This is my prayer for you:
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Eph 3:14-19, NLT)