As I’ve been reflecting on my recent experiences, I’ve been contemplating on what determines if faith or depression will ultimately triumph.
I’ve thought about other people who have pulled through difficult circumstances like a man I met last year named Johnson. Johnson is a Papua New Guinean who lives in Filifita in the Sepik. He was active in his village and would translate material so his community could read in their own language. About ten years ago a tree fell on him and paralyzed him from the waist down. It’s not easy being paralyzed in any country, but especially not living in a remote village. His wife has faithfully maintained the garden and taken care of him.
Johnson now lives on the veranda of his house and continues translating and creating literacy materials for his community. He is glad he can still contribute in meaningful ways. However, there are many things that are a challenge. Johnson and his wife are heroes in my book for their selfless contributions to others through the midst of extreme difficulties.
The thing that Johnson and I had in common that restored us was having a purpose in life. Johnson created his purpose when he was no longer able to do all that he had done previously. My purpose came back as my knee healed and I was able to continue on with what I desired to do. It seems to me that a purpose that someone can fulfill will ultimately lift them out of the hole of depression to be able to walk in the light of faith again. Living without a purpose is like hanging on to faith over the hole of depression. Eventually your grip will tire and you’ll plunge into the darkness below.