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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hope in God

In my job as a behavioral health therapist I come across a lot of people suffering from depression who are hopeless and helpless. In fact, one depressed patient once said to me, "I have no dreams; I have no hope." And from his constricted affect I knew he was speaking the truth.

Many times I ask myself what terrible circumstances conspire to render someone so hopeless that they think of taking their own lives, or occupy their thoughts with death wishes.

In my own life I can identify with some of the struggles that many of my patients face, and yet I continue to function normally. My friends, too, have issues that beg for understanding and compassion - the death of a child, loss of a job, an unexpected diagnosis, divorce - and yet they continue to function. Sometimes the circumstances may not be severe, but they gnaw at our peace just the same. And we all experience them. Someone said, "Show me the person who doesn't have problems and I'll show you someone who isn't breathing."

So what separates those of us on the outside of a psychiatric unit from those on the inside? Better mental and emotional health? Inner strength? God? Our genetic make up? All of these can determine whether we succumb to depression or not, but the fact is if we do succumb there is hope in God. We do not have to say like that young man, "I have no hope." The Bible tells us, "Hope thou in God." We need to hope in Him, not in our wealth, position, our physician, or our therapist, but in God.
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