Letting Love Into the Depressed Mind

Anxiety & Depression

He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

Psalm 103:4

Psalms explores with poetic beauty the suffering and joys of life. It is easy to get lost in the gorgeous phrasing, and in the rawness of the emotions expressed. Yet, there is a deeper nuance of meaning that sometimes God brings to my attention. Today, as a I read Psalm 103:4, the word “crowns” stood out to me.

What is a crown? A beautiful and weighty symbol of authority recognized across multiple cultures and eras. By crowning me with His love and kindness, God is resting the full weight and beauty of His love and kindness on me. This is a deep and permanent expression of ultimate love.

Depression can make one feel worthless – unloved and unlovable. In my darkest moments, the only emotion I can connect to is a sense of self-loathing. It is like my ability to connect to positive feelings or affirmations is shut off. I focus on my pain and shut out the world, and anything that could possibly help me feel better. Then I remember the crown of God’s love – it is the truth that surpasses the lies of depression.

He redeems me from death, or, put another way, He rescues me from the emotional darkness of depression. Then He seals the rescue by lavishing me with His love and kindness. Even when I have a difficult day – or season – His crown of love and kindness is upon me.

Anxiety and World Chaos

Anxiety & Depression

This morning, I binged on the news. This is toxic for a person diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, and predictably, I triggered my anxiety. I began to dwell on how twisted the wider world is becoming, and how little I, as one individual, can do about it. The dreaded feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness began to overwhelm me.

I tried to distract myself; I tried to focus on what matters to me most in life, but it is hard to ignore the chaos of the world, and to not obsessively worry about how it will impact me and those I love. I am always afraid of having a watershed moment where everything good in my life falls apart. If that happens, what will I live for then?

The world has been shaken. I cannot trust in governments or in the false security of the lifestyle I am used to living. Institutions and circumstances are fallible and changeable. One thing is clear: I need a new foundation for peace.

In Psalm 2, The nations gather to war in futility, and at the end of verse 6, the Lord’s sovereignty is reaffirmed. Today I choose to rest on this. In an increasingly unstable world, it is time for me to return to my Bedrock: my Lord’s Word.

1Why are the nations so angry?
    Why do they waste their time with futile plans?
The kings of the earth prepare for battle;
    the rulers plot together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed one.
“Let us break their chains,” they cry,
    “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
But the one who rules in heaven laughs.
    The Lord scoffs at them.
Then in anger he rebukes them,
    terrifying them with his fierce fury.
For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne
    in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”