Facing Death: Depression
"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." - (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
This week we have been looking at stages of dying based on observations by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.(1), who has spent most of her professional career working with dying patients in Chicago hospitals. We are also looking at a few scriptures that offer help and hope during these difficult times.
We've talked about denial, anger, and bargaining. Today we are looking at depression. The depression may be intense or only a blue mood. This is influenced by the patient's view of life and life after death. It is not unusual for it to develop into a clinical depression that warrants psychiatric intervention. The depression may be complicated by worrying about the money being spent in treatment or the time lost from work. More often the depressed thoughts will focus on being separated from one's family.
Consider this …
Today's scripture can be such a comfort during difficult times. God tells us not to be afraid or discouraged. Why? Because he is with us. Because he is our God. Because he will strengthen and help us. And because he will hold us up with his victorious right hand.
When Jesus was walking on the water and Peter walked toward him, the disciple walked on the water as long as his focus was on Jesus. But then he looked at the waves. Doubt overtook him and he began to sink. (See Matthew 14:22-33.)
That same truth applies to life, even when we are facing death. When we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, his power, his love, his strength, his promises . . . we are comforted. But if we shift our focus to the problems and our inability to deal with them, our faith diminishes and we can easily sink into depression.
Father, help me focus on you. Help me focus on Jesus' love and strength and caring. Help me remember he is with me every moment and will make this walk possible. In his name . . .
(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.
These thoughts were drawn from …
Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.
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