If I were a perfect Christian, I would always be upbeat and positive. I would always be confident in the Lord's protection and provision. I would never become fearful, worried or distressed. But I am not a perfect Christian.
Some days are better than others. Sometimes I am able to enjoy the day in a relatively carefree manner. But when funds start to run low and I don't know where my next paycheck is coming from, I start to think about just how close I am to the possibility of a disaster which will leave me homeless and living in the street or in a homeless shelter.
On past occasions, my depression has become so severe that I have contemplated suicide. I've also experienced physical symptoms, in recent years, which I know are direct results of the depression. Shortness of breath, an excessively fast heartbeat, tingling in my extremities (such as my fingertips) and other similar symptoms have accompanied some of my episodes of depression.
It's possible, of course, that those symptoms have been tied to the hypertension I discussed in an earlier blog post. But it's also possible that at least some of the hypertension is directly attributable to the depression. Stress is listed as one of the causes of hypertension, and an unemployed person who is running out of time and money is generally under a lot of stress.
Nevertheless, the Lord has taken me through those times of depression, and I'm still alive and kicking. Well, alive at any rate. I don't do a whole lot of kicking.
Considering the fact that I've been unemployed for the bulk of 2007, I have done fairly well in comparison with similar experiences in the more distant past. But I've still had moments of anguish, despair and fear during the past year, and even in the past few days.
When I experience such moments, I find that the best way to find relief is to fight back. I have to actively speak positive thoughts which are full of faith in Christ, even though those thoughts may not reflect the way I am really feeling at the moment.
Sometimes, I remind myself of various scriptures which encourage me. At other times, I sing a little song to myself. It goes like this:
God is gonna' take care of me,
even though how is hard to see.
Faithful to him, I have got to be,
for God will take care of me.
In the middle of the darkest night,
I have got to put up a fight,
resist the Devil with all my might,
for I'm walking by faith and not by sight.
Is it a magical formula which instantly makes all of my worries disappear? No. But it does seem to help a lot.