Moving Mountains and Receiving Grace
“You are categorizing your depression,” my husband said. “There’s depression you can handle, depression God can handle, and depression medicine can handle.”
He’d put a mirror to my face. I didn’t like what I saw. But he was right. If the depression I endure is not too bad, I think I can handle it. If it’s a bit worse, I pray and trust God to handle it. When it gets really bad, I go to the doctor.
C.S. Lewis said, “For most of us the prayer in Gethsemane is the only model. Removing mountains can wait.” His words speak to me as if he knew me. I have been praying prayers of Gethsemane. I haven’t prayed to move mountains. Have I even tried?
Nothing is Too Little or Too Big
I was clearly thinking depression is something either too small for God to handle or too large for God to handle. But that can’t be right.
God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He can handle the little stuff. Besides, He said we are much more valuable than a sparrow (Matthew 10:29-31). He healed countless people — the hurting, sick, blind and lame. Jesus even raised some from the dead (Matthew 11:4-6, 38-44).
What do I do now? I pray to move the mountains in my way. My first prayer went something like this, “God, please move the mountain.” I then realized that’s still a Gethsemane prayer! A prayer to move mountains is based on faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). I have to pray from a point of strength — God’s strength in me. My next prayer was this: “I reject depression in the name of Jesus.”
The Apostle Paul says to take every thought captive. I like how the King James Version puts it: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Every thought. Captive. In obedience to Christ.
Receiving His Grace
God can handle whatever ails me. The trouble is on my end. “It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you,” Oswald Chambers wrote. “It is taking the grace of God now.”
How do I receive that grace? I pray, “Father, I receive the grace that you have for me today.” I walk in the faith that God’s grace is enough. “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Walking Out My Faith
When I realized this weekend that I was having depressive thoughts, I prayed. I recognized that the thought wasn’t from God and I “took it captive,” in the sense that I changed my thoughts through prayer. My prayer went something like this: “That thought isn’t from you, God, and I reject it.” I then replaced those thoughts with those that line up with God’s truth: God loves me. I am valuable. My family loves me. And so forth. Honestly, this a daily kind of prayer.
I also draw on His grace as I need it, and try not to worry about tomorrow. “Each day has enough troubles of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) And it certainly does. Each day, although I struggle, is also a new opportunity to walk out my faith. This morning on my patio, I sipped my coffee and prayed. “Thank you for this day, Father.” Another day to be thankful. Another day to move mountains. Another day to receive grace.
I walk in my faith as each day comes, leaning into His strength. Though I am weak, He has made me strong.