I have a new friend whose name is Randall Slack. He pastors in Harrah, Oklahoma. I “met” him online.
We have since become friends, and we talk and email. We are branches from the same tree (Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa), and God has brought us together via the internet and phone to encourage each other, and to pray for one another’s families, and for each other.
Randal and his daughter Rachel suffer with differing degrees of depression and mental illness. They have chosen to write about their struggles, for which I commend them. Their hope is to encourage others who struggle with depression or mental illness, and to enlighten “healthy” believers about the struggles of some of their brethren.
I know that there are some within the Body of Christ who will seek to medicate themselves in order to avoid having to face the “normal” struggles of life, whether it be through cheap wine or medical prescriptions. I believe that that choice is to avoid trusting God, and instead, to deal with life in an ungodly manner.
I do believe that some within Jesus’ Church need medication to counteract that which is chemically lacking within their bodies.
I have no medical or psychological training. I am a pastor, but that means that I have been able to be around lots of people for the last 27 years. I have noticed a few things, and do have an opinion.
I am often nervous about some people’s experiences with medication, and I have witnessed what I believe were mis-diagnoses. I have seen other folks respond wonderfully to medication, and wholeheartedly encourage them to stay on it.
Some have suggested that some forms of depression are self induced: a result of one’s unrelieved guilt over sins and failures. I believe that that may be true for some. If that is the case, their best remedy would be a saving, healing relationship with Jesus.
I believe that with other folks, it has nothing to do with their sins at all. It is simply a biological problem.
As with all of man’s efforts, I would say that psychiatric medicine is an imperfect science, subject to wins and losses, but praise God for the wins.
You can read Randall’s thoughts at http://okiepreacher.blogspot.com/
Rachel’s thoughts can be found at http://notesfromthewell.blogspot.com/
To Randal and Rachel: Thanks for sharing. I hope the image posted above doesn’t misrepresent your struggles, but it caught my attention, and I would believe that some who read here will relate to the painting.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.