Last night Diane and I went to a church camp outside of Moorefield, WV. It was youth night and young person after young person got up in front of a crowd of 150 people to sing and speak and dance about their faith. There must have been 25-30 young people who stood with a microphone, many saying it was their first time to stand in that position. It was beautiful the way everyone would shout encouragement to each other and cheer. For those who stood before the 150 people and admitted to fighting depression, words were often few and far between as they intermittently broke through silence. When the pauses were long, cheers and shouts of encouragement erupted.
I am not a therapist. I do not know what is happening that so many people, especially young people, suffer from depression. I do not want to do any harm through my blog and offer any bad advice or cause guilt. But I know this much. The answer is not found in Facebook or illegal drugs or alcohol or wealth or fame or sex. The answer is not found in anything this world has to offer. If the answer were in any of these things, we would not have so many people battling depression.
I think the best I can do in this short space is to quote something I wrote in a 2012 blog post:
…helping others is the miracle cure for almost every one of our ailments! Depressed? Go help someone, you’ll be uplifted. Got pride? Go volunteer at a homeless shelter or prison and you’ll be humbled and grateful. Is your heart broken? Go visit a children’s hospital and you’ll see and hear about faith that moves mountains that will help your broken heart be mended.
God knew what He was doing when He told us to visit the lonely, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, etc. Not only are we gaining an eternal reward, but there is a side-effect. (It’s not gas or bloating, and it does last longer than 4 hours.) Serving others makes this life so much more meaningful and is exactly what “THE Doctor” ordered to relieve the ailments in our own lives.
Finally, I wish you could see yourself as God sees you and believe what He says about you. I invite you to listen to this new Lauren Daigle song: