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Sunday, June 7, 2015

How to Help Your Depressed Pastor

DEPRESSION is an insidious part of life that creeps up at times, and crazily at times of the highest peaks of our lives. Astounding is the effect of thoughts that swarm and feelings that erode. Emptiness and disengagement become something of a necessary nemesis to life.
It is incredibly sad that some lives are tortured far beyond their capacity to bear them. How sad it should make us feel that even our own pastors — those we may have known for years — could be under such trials of torment. It should sadden us incredibly that anyone we know is shackled to such a thing they have no key for. But for those who entered a life to help others, often to their own detriment, there should be double longing for heaven.
At this point I’d like to invite you to pause and to pray; for your pastor, for your mentor, for pastors and counsellors you know, and for anyone God places on your heart. Make it a wordless prayer; a prayer that only has silence, sighing, and tears about it.
How better can we help our pastors who have to wrestle with the darkest nights — even at midday — whilst still having the spiritual capacity to help us? How better than prayer? What better thing to do than say to the Holy Spirit, “Help me know how to help them, support them, and encourage them.”
Are there any more worthy tears than the tears the Holy Spirit causes us to shed for others?
We make our entreaty to God: “Lord, make it a better day for them, today. Reward them with a joy for the good they do for you. And if that is not able to be achieved, today, would you cause those eternal blessings you are stacking up for them to be compounded.”
With hearts aglow for those helpers in our midst, we go out with hearts ready to help. And to help is to know we are doing the will of God from our corner of life.
To help is all we can do when it is also all we need to do.
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Our hearts go out to all those in the helping professions and callings who are dogged spiritually with depression. Thank you, Lord, for each person who, though at the peak of their effectiveness, is dogged by this black dog. Inspire us to pray for them and to know how, in any small way, that they might be helped, affirmed and encouraged.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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