On Hating and Loving Depression

I know what you’re thinking. How can someone love depression, right? I’ll get there; but first bear with me while I vent…

I Hate This

I absolutely loathe living with anxiety and depression. I hate how it affects my mind, my emotions, my enjoyment of life, my physical senses, my eating habits – well just about everything. Just name any aspect of human existence you like, and I can tell you how I have to make survival adjustments because of the daily reality I face called “depression”. I feel it’s only right to hate this; depression is an enemy, not a friend. It’s an enemy that only exists because I am living in a broken, sinful world, from which as Paul tells us in Romans 8:23, we long to be free. And I do long to be free of it, I groan under the pressure of it. I hate depression. I hate it! Hate it! HATE IT!

But that brings me to the weird part.

I Love This

I love the work that Christ does in my life through my living with depression. Really, I do.

I don’t know how God does it, but the Holy Spirit makes it happen. In my soul there resides a holy hatred for sin and all its effects, including my struggles with depression. And yet, alongside my hatred is a love for the work Christ is doing in me – a work which could only be done because the depression is there.

I’m not new to this. I’ve been living with varying degrees of depression for decades now. Consequently, I am more confident than ever that the deep emotional – and even physical – pain it causes has no power to bind the grace that frees my soul to love and trust Jesus. His Spirit is not bound by my suffering. To the contrary, His Spirit uses that which I am rightly supposed to hate to cause me to love His work and His Kingdom so much more than my own comfort. The pain of living here in a broken world makes my love and hope for a perfect world to soar – a world He has promised in His gospel.

It’s true – where the effects of sin abound, grace abounds all the more.

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