Do you find yourself thinking that no matter how hard you try, nothing you do seems good enough?
Do you secretly wish you could end it all to escape the pain inside you?
I’ve been there. If this sounds like you, believe me when I say that my heart aches for you. Depression…it’s like living in the body of your worst enemy and wanting nothing more than to rid yourself of you.
My dear friend, I pray that my words can help to mend your brokenness. No matter what anyone says, the battle inside of you is real….and in this war, I want more for you than just your survival. I want to see you thrive like the warrior for Christ that you are.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. – Ephesians 5:14
I want you to visualize for a moment. Let’s pretend that the battle within you is portrayed in this battle of Canine Vs. Feline.
Meet Greyhound. A medium sized canine, this fellow stands at roughly 30 inches; an average male weighing in at about 60-88 lbs. The greyhound is considered the fastest dog known to man. With a speed of up to 45mph, this creature has led many an owner to the racetrack to put its capabilities to the test. An excerpt from Merriam-Webster describes greyhounds as “a breed of tall, slender, graceful, smooth coated dogs characterized by swiftness and keen sight”. Even Solomon noted the remarkable agility of a Greyhound in Proverbs 30:29-31.
Of course, as impressive as this beast is, a greyhound is no match for the speed, size, or strength of the lion, also noted in the same passage. The lion is referred to here as “the strongest among beasts” – truly a title to be proud of. Which brings me to our next contestant…
This is Lion. Appropriately nicknamed “King of the Jungle”, this massive land animal is 3.9 ft on average, and can weigh as much as 420 lbs! Lions can reach speeds of up to 50mph, outrunning the fastest canine. It has been said that the roar of a lion can be heard from up to 5 miles away. With statistics like these, it would appear obvious who would win in a battle between Canine vs. Feline. The lion is bigger, faster, and meaner than any greyhound. (1 Peter 5:8) Nevertheless, these two will spar it off on…
Lion and Greyhound face each other across the field. The stakes are high, heart rates skyrocket…the odds don’t look good for our canine friend. Nevertheless, Greyhound is determined to put up a good fight. Fearlessly, he runs forward to meet his enemy head on. He nips at Lion’s heels, resulting in rage from his feline opponent. Lion pounces on Greyhound, piercing his flesh with sharp teeth. Greyhound manages to escape momentarily from under Lion’s paw, and the chase begins. Greyhound is fast, but Lion is faster. Lion chases Greyhound to the boundaries of the arena. Greyhound is trapped. The massive cat bares his teeth and gets ready to rip Greyhound to shreds. Yet, what’s this? Just when Lion makes his move, alas – a warrior enters the arena. The man rushes to the scene, and his swift spear penetrates the feline’s side. Lion falls to the ground in defeat. Greyhound breathes a sigh of relief, for he has been saved from certain death. Thanks to the warrior, Greyhound comes out of the field alive and victorious. He knows Lion is no longer a threat.
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. – Ecclesiastes 9:4
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. – Luke 20:38
Sometimes in life we resemble Greyhound. We may be talented, well-loved, and capable; yet we allow ourselves to forget all of that in the sight of a lion (depression). We might put up a fight, but we will soon back down because we realize that we are inferior to our foe. Maybe we won’t even put up a fight at all…because it hurts us too much to try and fail.
I won’t deceive: lions (like the struggles we face in life) are often stronger, larger and faster than us. It is true that we do not stand a chance in a one-on-one battle…some hurts are simply unbearable to face head on. It’s folly to think that a greyhound can increase it’s top speed to outrun a lion, or increase in size to overpower it. In the same way, we need to realize that there are some battles we can not win.
Like a greyhound, you are talented, loved, and capable. However, depression is like a lion: fast, fierce, and furious. Depression will tear you apart until it’s the end of you. Do you have strength? Yes! Even so, a greyhound can’t expect to beat a lion. At least…you can’t expect to beat down a lion on your own. There is One who is bigger than every problem we face. Our very own warrior who saves in the nick of time – Jesus Christ. You are not capable of beating depression on your own, but you can be a victor over your depression because of Him.
Do not be overcome by evil, but over come evil with good – Romans 12:21 (Christ is the good by which we can overcome!)
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalm 27:13
People that try to battle depression alone will inevitably lose. Too many lives have been lost to suicide because Christ was not asked to the battleground of the human mind. You are not meant to fight lions on your own! Sister, if you will not look to the Lord to heal your broken spirit, you are going to wind up dead.
Maybe that’s what you think you want right now. Maybe you think everyone would be better off without you. You’re wrong. That’s the devil talking. God has work for you to do, and you can’t do it if you’re six feet under. Put your trust in the Lord. Stop believing the lies your opponent has set before you. You are a valuable asset to God’s Kingdom.
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith. – Philippians 1:23-25
I encourage you today to stand up and fight the good fight of faith. Take confidence in who you are – a child of God with your very own strengths. You may not be as strong as a lion, but you are remarkable in your own way. God will fight for you, if you let Him. He can help you overcome your depression. Remember this always:
A living dog is better than a dead lion.
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. – Joel 3:10
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. – Psalm 118:17
God bless, and take a chill pill!
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.