by Chad Waller
Lead Pastor of Vc2 Tennille, GA
Author of "Ash Sculpting" and "Synergize"
Owner of Waller-Hill Publishing
I find it interesting that many creative people struggle with depression. Though this may seem like a generalization, it is founded on many years of observation and on my own personal experience. Depression, in a very true and insidious way, tends to short circuit creativity. It causes us to misplace our confidence that things can get better. May I remind you that hope is not a wish, but is a confident expectation of the goodness of God. It is confidence that God's goodness still prevails. However, as we give place to depression, we begin to think there is no use in trying, pressing on, or working anymore towards a favorable outcome. Often, this seems to be when people become exasperated and simple want to give up. Feeling they have lost their creative edge, they bang down on the keyboard, throw away the canvas, rip up the page, or walk away from the project at hand.
As I am writing this, I realize some may possibly think this far fetched and maybe even silly. Well, I am writing in particular to creative people (i.e. Artist, Musicians, Writers, Dancers, Actors, etc.) and I am confident they can connect with this thought. The feeling that nothing seems to be coming out the way you feel it, hear it or see it. This moment often causes us to feel down cast in our souls. We can begin to misplace our hope by looking to ourselves as the source of creativity and wondering what happened to us. You must stop and remember who is your source!
Psalm 43:5 "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."
So when our soul is cast down, or may I even say depressed, there is turmoil within us. This turmoil causes us to struggle with creativity and makes it difficult to even focus. The battle within us can be fierce and produce much disruption that keeps us from accomplishing what we desire to create or even creating anything of significance.
It is interesting that David tells his soul here to hope in God or to have confidence that God's goodness still prevails. He speaks to his soul and encourages himself that he will again praise God. He reminds himself that God is his salvation and simply that God is his God! I find this so important because God is my source. He is the Great Creator and I, His creation, have been entrusted with creative power and I create for His glory and honor. I have to remind myself that He is the source and I am only a channel of that creativity being released from the source of all life! In Christ, and by Christ and through Christ all things exist! And it is all for His glory! So my confidence and hope are in the Lord!
I am certain that discussing this could cause someone who suffers with depression to say I am being insensitive or possibly that I don't understand how hard it can be for those who fight depression. The truth is, I have fought depression much in my life. So I don't speak as an outsider looking down on anyone who deals with this. And yes, I know there are medical things that can cause depression. I also happen to know that our God is known as Jehovah Rapha, the Lord my physician, and that Jesus Christ bore my sicknesses and all my diseases on the cross! By the stripes of Jesus I have been healed–spirit, soul, and body! So I don't just lay down and accept any disease, be it it physical or emotional, but I stand declaring what the Word of God says!
I cannot give place to depression in my life. It short circuits what I have been called to do and created for. It stifles my creativity and slows down my creative juices. Depression causes me to focus on myself and my problems and not on God and is often caused by me being more self absorbed that Christ focused. My life is not my own, it belongs to Him and as I fellowship and commune with Him, more creativity flows than I ever dreamed possible. It flows from a place of confidence. It flows from a place of hope. Deep inside I see that I can make a difference and things can be better. Then I stop focusing on the negative and I begin to see the limitless possibilities that Father God wants to release. My soul places its hope and trust in the Lord and I find wells of creativity. Then I create from that place–that place of HOPE!
Hope in the Lord oh my soul, He will not fail you!
Eric Reeder is joined by other leaders of RISEmovement to reveal the heartbeat of The HOPE-filled Gospel.