I have struggled with depression, off and on, ever since I was a child. I went thru a rather jagged bought of it over the past few weeks and have been asking myself, my friends, my pastors and my counselor questions like: Can a real Christian suffer from depression? and What are the spiritual implications/dimensions of this disease that also affects the body and the mind in such devestating ways?
First, I absolutely believe that "real Christians", regenerate and sanctified by the Living God, can struggle with this illness. Open the Bible to almost any passage and God's children are expressing their, at times, complete despair in the face of the circumstances of life. Even our Precious Lord Jesus, who was without sin, was "sorrowful unto death" in the Garden of Gethsemane. How can we ever expect to feel content in this world, which is not as God intended it to be, and when we are now just shadows of our future selves? How can we, as Christians, keep our hope in the Living God in the face of feeling such black despair at times?
My counselor, who is also an Anglican Priest, introduced me to the concepts of Kenosis & Theosis, 2 Greek theological terms. Kenosis means emptiness and Theosis means divinization-- the process of becoming h0ly and the ongoing process of seeking increasingly greater union with God. I have come to believe the key to mastery over my depression will rest in a full apprehension of these 2 concepts. I will elaborate more on my growing understanding of this in future posts.