Faith and Depression

My knee is recovering nicely from what turned out to be a partially torn medial ligament instead of an ACL rupture as originally thought. This has meant no surgery but has required months of exercise and care to get to the point where I can now run a mile before my knee starts feeling “tired”. But more fascinating than physical atrophy and rehabilitation is the mix of faith and depression.

I consider myself to have a very strong faith that has been born from a transfer of self reliance to a dependency on God and an ultimate belief of the goodness of God’s character in the midst of troubling circumstances. I know that God cares for me, that he works through me to glorify him, that he desires what is best for me. These have become permanent foundations of my faith not just because I believe them to be true but because I have seen them at work in my life. Hardship and trials don’t affect me much.

This is why it surprised me to struggle with depression in the midst of my faith.

I KNOW that not accomplishing my plans for the months following my injuries was not a surprise to God. I KNOW that it is okay with Him that I was laid up in my house and not traipsing through the jungle. I KNOW that I was not somehow letting God down. Yet all I wanted to do when I received my injury was curl up and cry.

If my faith was strong, why did I struggle? I think that sometimes in our lives there is a discrepancy between feelings and knowledge, emotions and faith. Could it be that things that strike deep at what we know and believe elicit feelings opposite of our faith? Hence when our faith or things we strongly hold are deeply affected, a feeling of being lost or despair is common despite faith standing firm.

A strong faith and despondency might not be such a strange combination in times of struggle.

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