You are good, LORD. (Psalm 25:7 NCV)
Good and upright is the LORD. (Psalm 25:8 NIV)
You, Lord, are forgiving and good. (Psalm 86:5 NIV)
If God is good, why is there so much pain in the world? It is a question I have struggled to answer and occasionally need to revisit. I don’t have any serious ailments. If I were to see the doctor for a physical, I would be deemed to have great health. However, have me take a mental health test and my results would not read the same.
Three months ago, I had to take such a test. Not because I am struggling with anything at the moment, but because it’s a routine test given to some moms in Denmark, soon after giving birth. I had symptoms of severe anxiety during my pregnancy and my health nurse was checking up on me and my husband to see how we were doing.
I wasn’t naïve to what my results would be. In fact, even though I am the happiest I have probably ever been, I knew my results wouldn’t show that.
Depressed mood most of the day…. no.
Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities…. no.
Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain….no.
Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day…. yes.
Psychomotor agitation…. depends on if I got 5 hours of sleep or 1 hour.
Fatigue or loss of energy…. see answer above.
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt…. yes.
Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness…. yes.
Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a plan… yes.
And lo and behold, the nurse continued with words I’ve heard before, “Well, you scored quite high, here are some different options for therapy…” She continued but I wasn’t surprised with my score. I have had different bouts with depression for the past 13 years and accepted the fact that I might never be completely healed. What I was surprised about was how joyful I have been in spite of all these things.
What does that mean? To me, it has shown me that God is at work and he is healing me.
The truth is, God wants me to be completely healed:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess 5:23
When Jesus went into Peter’s house, He saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and began to serve Him. When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick, so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: He himself took our weaknesses and carried our diseases. Matthew 8:14-17
So why am I not completely healed by now? I don’t know.
Sometimes we see people have miraculous recoveries. We’ve seem them in the bible.
Othertimes we see a gradual recovery. Also in the bible.
And unfortunately, there are those who never see recovery.
In this life, that is.
I have seen a gradual recovery in my depression and I thank God for that. I have to keep praying that God will continue to heal the brokenness of my mind. But if that never happens, I know I won’t live with it for all eternity:
Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. 1 John 3:2
What a great promise. I will be like Jesus someday. I won’t struggle with this forever. But in the meantime, I continue to hope that things I struggle with can, in some way, help others. And even more, I hope it will drive me to rely on God.
That was made real to me the other day. It was a nice day and I was on my way home with my son. I got off the bus a stop early because a store I like was having a sale. I pushed the stroller onto the sidewalk to look at the outdoor display and since the ground was level and that particular section of sidewalk was large, I didn’t put on the brake.
A gush of wind came. I heard a rattle but didn’t think much of it. The wind blew. Things rattle in the wind.
I heard a woman gasp so I turned around to see what was happening. I looked just in time to see my son’s stroller racing into the street and a woman lunging to catch it.
My heart stopped.
A million thoughts came to my mind. How could I be so stupid and wreckless? Where is my mind? What if she wasn’t there? Would he have hit that parked truck and tipped over? Oh man, a car just went by, would the car have hit him?
I couldn’t breath. I needed to get out of there. I thanked the woman profusely and left. What did she think of me? I’m a bad mom. Surely she is judging me. Move faster.
I turned around one last time, looked her in the eye and said thank you with tears in my eyes. I could see she knew I meant it. Then I kept going.
About half a block later I realized this woman may have saved my son’s life. I thought about never holding him again, never hearing his laugh or looking into his big brown eyes. “I need to talk to her,” I thought. I looked back but she was gone.
The train ride home was filled with horrible thoughts and stifled tears. Any mom, even one with no history of depression, would suffer from the same guilt and remorse. So why tell this story?
Because I still need to be reminded that God is good. I believe He saved my son that day.
It’s also an indicator that He is healing me. Depending on where I was at with my depression, an event like that could have sent me spiraling. But I have learned to have these thoughts drive me towards God, not away.
I’m grateful for the help I have gotten and continue to get. Lots of prayer, talks with some people around me and a good cry have done the trick on a situation that could have knocked me out completely.
Are you in need of healing? Go to Jesus. Been there and still nothing? Keep going back to Him. You can trust He has your best interest at heart and wants you healed. You can also trust that He is good.
*Before Amen, by Max Lucado has been a great help with this post.