Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Needed Solace Found

One of the reasons I’m up front about my struggles with depression in the past is that I think there is a lot of Christians who struggle with it … and then feel guilty about struggling with it (after all, my life is in the hands of the One who made all there is, for crying out loud, why should I feel this way). All that does is to contribute to the perpetuation of the depression. I feel bad, but Christians should be joyful because of Christ, so shame on me. (Is that clear to anyone who has not wrestled with the monster before?) I have been on medication for depression in the past, and I will go on medication again in the future if necessary. Christian biochemist and psychologist Archibald Hart sees the medications available now as a gift from God.

I’ve been wrestling with the monster again recently, and I covet your prayers. At times I feel silly and weak because of it. As I was working this morning, God gave me some solace and encouragement in the form of an old hymn that I then chose to use as the anchor for my part of the Wednesday evening worship time. Good stuff bears repeating even if the language is archaic, so here it is (words by George W. Robinson):

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace!
O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue
Christ-less eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know as now I know,
I am His and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms
Cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
O to lie forever here,
Doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His and He is mine.

His forever, only His;
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
First-born light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be
I am His and He is mine.

I know that a lot of church people don’t want to hear that their leaders struggle. I’m not going tell you that your walk with Christ won’t lead you into areas that are difficult and painful, because following Christ will lead you there … sometimes frequently. But the truth of God is this: though He doesn’t lead me around the valley of the shadow of death, He promises to walk through it with me. That’s enough to think about for now …


Blogger turyd said...

I am a SB Min of Music in transition. After our Sanctuary Choir performed a Brooklyn Tab concert, my pastor came to my office and said, "This is our new track, there is no turning back. No more funeral music!" That comment was unsettling. Occasionally we have sung thoughtful or reflective anthems, like Jeremy Johnson's ballad, "Be at Rest," but I have not considered that "funeral music."

At any rate, I have been blessed by some of my senior adult aged choir members who love more traditional music, but who understand this new direction toward contemporary. One senior adult couple in particular has been very supportive. I bet you know them!

Your openness is an encouragement to others. Don't be too hard on yourself.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Morris said...

turyd wrote:

"I bet you know them."

I have a sneaking suspicion that I might. Brooklyn Tab stuff is great, but not for a steady diet. One of the coolest things that's going on here is that my Youth Choir members, who absolutely love the latest, cutting edge stuff coming out of Passion, Matt Redman, Third Day, Chris Tomlin, et. al. are just a hot for Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth" and some other really heady choral stuff. I owe a debt of gratitude to YouthCUE and Randy Edwards for helping me to communicate that it's not an either/or situation, but a both/and.

2:54 PM  

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