Digging Trenches (Finding Hope In Depression)

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”
-Psalm 29:11

Two weeks ago I started a new part time seasonal job with a termite and pest control company.  The bug season hit early this year and they needed extra help because of the amount of business that was coming in.  After the first day on the job I realized I was basically hired to be a trench digger.  To treat a house for termites a trench is dug around the perimeter, we fill the trench with a chemical and then fill the trench back up with dirt.   Now this is some hard work and the weather we’ve been having in GA does not make it any easier.  Before I get off track, my point of writing this is not to complain to you about how physically exhausting my job is, my point is to relate what the Lord taught me through the process.

First day on the job about 2 hours in the first scripture comes to mind:

 “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.”
-Genesis 3:19

The Holy Spirit couldn’t help but rub this one in as I sat there drenched in sweat…  I got a chuckle out of this and it gave me some joy to keep diggin.  Soon after the next scripture popped in my head:

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Ok, I can be thankful here” I said.  I really was thankful that the Lord had provided a new employment opportunity for me.  This job works perfect with my schedule and brings in some much needed extra money with just recently moving to GA a few months ago.   So I kept digging with a thankful attitude praising God for the work He had provided.

Day two on the job comes and we are on our second termite job of the day.  This is by far the hottest it’s been yet and the hardest house to trench.  I’m underneath a crawl space surrounded by cob webs and dust trying to trench around the foundation pillars.  On top of that the ground at this house is not soft at all.  The third scripture pops in my head:

“Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”
-Colossians 3:23

“Really Lord?  I’m digging trenches.  I’m supposed to have the attitude that I’m doing this for You?”  “Yes” He replies and so, I keep digging.

Now I thought about writing this post over a week ago and just leaving it at that, but I sensed—though these verses do give a good message together—that the Lord had not finished speaking.  So I waited…

I waited a week and in that next week rather than hearing the Lord I stopped hearing Him.  Rather than feeling His presence I started feeling alone.  Rather than hearing His voice I started hearing a different voice—the voice of one who says, “You are all alone.”  “You do not know what you’re doing.”  “You are lost and there is no hope because God does not exist.”  Oh my heart sank.  What was happening to me?  I was past this I thought.  How did I ever get so uncontrollably tossed back in to the pit?  The voice told me “You have dug your own trench and now you will lie in it in misery alone.”

I was around other believers but never asked for help.  That’s the scary thing about depression is that the loneliness makes you think that there is no help.  It makes you think that it’s your fault you are depressed and that no one can help.

Lies, lies, LIES!

I mustered up the last ounce of spiritual strength I had and cried out:

“AWAY FROM ME SATAN!  Come Lord and rescue me from the pit!  Help me Father please!”

I got enough strength to pull out my phone and pulled up my Bible app.  I was led to Psalm 29 which I read and the last passage was so simple but really stood out to me:

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

Reading this scripture I cried out, “Lord I am not feeling your peace right now.  Please hear me and bless me with this peace your word promises!”

I didn’t feel better.  The voice came in again saying “these are lies, there is no peace” but I held on to the scripture and kept going back to it.  That evening I did find some strength.  It was not total healing strength but it was strength to talk.  I told my wife how I had been feeling.  Now my wife is no scholar with a doctorate of theology, she is a woman of simple faith which I admire so much.  I’m always caught up in my intellectual thoughts as if I’m actually going to come up with any answers to life’s big questions in my own finite brain.  She doesn’t over analyze things.  She believes because Jesus has touched her heart and that is it.  She told me the simple words, “We live by faith.”   Simple words, but powerful words! 

 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
-Romans 1:17

I was not completely out of the pit yet but I was feeling much better.  Just being open and honest with my feelings took a huge burden off my chest.  I wasn’t alone anymore.  And so I went to bed still confused but starting to look on the bright side of things.

The next morning (yesterday) I felt so much better—almost normal.  I then had strength to reach out for prayer and help from another woman of faith in my life—my mother.  Now my mom is what you might call a “prayer warrior.”  She would never boast in herself but I will boast about my mom.  She is a woman of God!  If there is anyone I know that is close to God’s heart it is my mother.  I am very grateful for her and she prayed for me on the phone with the Spirit of God providing the exact words I needed to hear.  I was encouraged again! Faith was rising and the peace that surpasses understanding was settling back in to my heart.  I wept and prayed and felt Psalm 29:11 coming to life. 

To top it off I go in to church this morning and our Pastor informs us we are going to do things a little different.  He tells us the Lord has put it on his heart to do a different service and that the family of our church needed to be strengthened in the Lord.  “Yes!” I thought, “God is so faithful!” The service was amazing.  Instead of two services we did one long continuous service intermixing prayer, scripture, people sharing testimony, teaching, and worship.  The presence of God was among us!  He strengthened His people today!  He blessed His people with peace!  Amen and thank you Lord Jesus for you are so good to us!  I love you Lord, I love you Veronica, I love you Mom, I love you Pastor Josh and Calvary Chapel Northwest.

The moral of the story: ask for help!  When you’re feeling down go to God’s word and ask for help from other believers.  Through the power of God light will always prevail over darkness!  To whomever the Lord is speaking to now know that Christ is with you and He loves you.  The Lord will give strength to His people.  The Lord will bless His people with peace!  Hallelujah!

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6 thoughts on “Digging Trenches (Finding Hope In Depression)

  1. Cindy Powell

    Love this, honey. And I love you. I am so ridiculously blessed to see so many of my prayers being answered in your life. You help so many by being honest with your own struggles (because we all have them!). I’m so very proud of you 🙂

    Reply
  2. powerfulriver

    Coming from a person who dealt with chronic depression in the past, it is only by God’s grace that I never had to be medicated and remain in my right mind. Awesome post!

    Reply

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