(October 10, 2014)
This is the first time I have read Job when I have felt like I had been in a somewhat similar position – a position where I have felt like I was losing everything that mattered. Other than the boils (thankfully), I have felt like I have lost my family and my temporal blessings in a single moment – what happen to Job through theft happened to me through false witnessing and my own failures of the past, but the net effect is much the same.
Unlike Job, I am not a perfectly upright man. But having gone through my experience, I can see some of the ways that I thought being reflected in Job. I can see the overwhelming depression that Job experiences, and how that depression affected his testimony of the Lord. In many ways, it seems that Job has held on to his knowledge of the Lord, but struggles to hold on to his trust in the Lord – having it one moment, losing it the next. Again, this is something that I am only too familiar with, having gone through a somewhat similar situation.
Depression and damage to our testimonies go hand in hand. I don’t know if it is a situation where depression causes our testimony to be weakened, or whether it is a situation where our weakened testimony causes depression. Personally, and I can only speak from my experience, my testimony ran up against the full weight of my depression as I considered the cost of maintaining faithfulness to the Lord, and in that position my testimony collapsed. Then that collapsed testimony only added to the depression that I suffered from, and the negative cycle built until I was on the border of being lost forever and only an exercise of my moral agency to choose to believe was sufficient to pull be back from the razor’s edge of destruction.
Depression is a scary, scary thing. After my experiences of the past year, I spend a large portion of my efforts maintaining my testimony in every way that I can (I never want to be in the position I was in where I was nearly lost). I also spend time, through exercise, diet, proper sleep habits, and chamomile tea, to manage and prevent depression so that it never threatens my testimony again.