This white rose in my garden, about to open, reminds me of how Jesus
presented us with an example of a life of purity
In re-reading David Seamands’ Healing for Damaged Emotions (Victor Books, 1981), I again appreciated his counsel for dealing with depression. He noted that that Martin Luther (the great Protestant reformer of 500 years ago) and Samuel Brengle (19th century Salvation Army commissioner and teacher on holiness) both struggled with depression—and both found praise one way of counteracting the negative pull on their lives. Seamands said that when Brengle struggled with feeling God’s presence or hope in prayer, he’d thank God for simple things, like the leaf on a tree or the beautiful wing of a bird. Reading that helped me realize that my own “Thank you, God” every-day prayers—for simple things like this beautiful rose, one of the first to bloom in our yard—were acceptable and healing forms of worship.
Seamands also had this advice: “Lean heavily on the power of God’s Word” (p. 129). Although God can use any portion of scripture to help people, he likes to recommend that people read the psalms. A whole range of depression emotions come out in psalms—in fact, he said, 48 of the 150 psalms express depression. To people struggling with depression, Seamands often gives out a list of the 48 to read and think about. Now, some people may find that depressing! But it’s not. It’s encouraging that God led the writers to be brutally honest about how they felt, and to share how they found their way up and out. Psalms are real.