I was overwhelmed again this Monday morning. I didn’t need the “depression test” to know that I have been there for a while. Quite a while.
(Though I did take the test online a few days ago. I failed it. Or passed it. I’m not sure how one says that.)
This morning I went again through the best Medicine Cabinet I know that works for me… the Scriptures.
When particularly down, for lengths of time, which this has become… the starting shelf to look for Medicine (for me anyway) is almost always the Psalms. Thanks to good cross references and free commentaries online, I seldom stay in the Psalms.
But I did today.
Psalm 40 is “Christ’s Psalm.” Along with a few others. I mean, they all are of course. But in a special way, the New Testament writers reference this Psalm in connection with our Savior. Two thousand years of saints in the Church have affirmed that this prophetically speaks of Christ. Read Spurgeon’s Treasury of David for deeper insights… along with any good commentary.
But I was not expecting a “special work” of the Spirit in me today.
He is not my magic formula. He does not respond to my timetable.
But I’ve kept going to Him, in the Word, because… where else can I go?
I’ve been to the other places. Empty wells.
I’ve been so overcome by depression that there were no “feelings of faith” as I read these words:
For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. Psalm 40:12
But God chose this day, through these Words, to open my eyes. To give water to me, a thirsty man too tired to drink.
This wasn’t just David speaking. This was Christ. He felt the weight of evils done to him… of all the evil done to me and others too. He felt the weight of sin that he chose to own… to be responsible for… to be blamed for… though he had never sinned. All my sin, and the sin of countless others. Guilty.
They were his now, on that day.
As I thought about how he took all of that and owned it, and died in order to kill it all… I started weeping uncontrollably.
Then the Spirit let me see that I was dead to death and sin. Free.
It belonged to Christ. Not me. And it was nailed on the cross with him. And it died with him. Because he had to own it in my place in order to buy me out of bondage.
When Christ was raised, I was raised with him. To new life.
I know the Great Exchange in my mind. I grew up in the Church hearing it explained. I studied for the ministry for three years to learn it better. I’ve preached it from a pulpit. I’ve shared it with others.
But this morning, I believed it. Again.
This morning, it wasn’t an academic doctrine, nor a formula.
I saw in my heart, from the Spirit of God, my Lord and my Savior… hanging on a cross.
Suffering for me.
Taking it all away. Dying “outside the camp” all alone. Guilty.
All so I would never be guilty or alone again.
I wept. I’m still weeping with relief and joy and ok-ness.
He exchanged Himself for me.
I’m righteous and holy and blameless…. BLAMELESS… before God. All because Jesus paid it all. All.
I’m factually OK… these light and momentary burdens and sufferings are privileges to me… I get to fill up his afflictions… I get to be filled and fueled with him as he gathers his Church to himself.
And I was OK a few days ago when I took the depression test.
I just forgot.
Are the chemical changes in my brain still affecting “activities of daily living?”
Am I still ok?
Can I explain the paradox?
Do I need to, or want to?
If we are in Christ, and Christ is in us… we are already ok.
May we dwell on that reality when all the rest of our world is spinning out of control.
We are His, and He is ours. And that’s enough.