I had coffee with a good friend this morning who is struggling with depression. It grieved me to see him in the midst of the shadow lands. It’s a hard place to live. I know. I grew up in the shadow lands. Depression is part of my heritage and a frequent part of my life. It’s not unusual for me to spend weeks in the shadow lands before I see the light of a clear day.
It was hard to see my friend struggling. He had never visited the shadow lands before. It’s difficult the first time. Depression is overwhelming if you have never experienced it before. It eats away at your energy, dulls your mind and makes the very nerves of your body tender. Walking through the shadow lands is a skill reluctantly learned, unwillingly done, but a wonderful blessing as you see God work in your life.
I gave my friend some tools to use as he walks through the shadow lands. They are simple things, but they really help. I’m praying for him. I’m praying that he, like David, myself and thousand of others, discovers that God is close beside him. That his rod and staff protect and comfort him as he discovers the shadow lands.
Today he’s just beginning a difficult journey, but as one who has spent years in the shadow lands I was able to encourage him and tell him that God is working wonderfully in his shadow lands. In fact, I think I have found my walk with God even sweeter because of the dark paths of the shadow lands. I hope my friend finds God’s sweet care as well as he walks through these dark days.