Tuesday, August 05, 2008

the Body

I think many of us tend to underrate and underestimate the importance of the Body of Christ in our lives. I think this plays out in our practice, individually and corporately. People might "go to church," but not really much to interact, though thankfully the church we're a part of is very strong in interacting.

For any who know me, they'll know I've struggled off and on with depression, most all my life. I have steered clear of meds, because the one I took wore off, and the other gave me splitting headaches at times. Recently, for some time now, I've struggled again with depression.

Sunday I went forward to get prayer from one of our pastors- Sharon (her husband, Jack, is our other pastor). She has a gift for praying and encouraging as well as counseling others. And she preaches quite well. Jack and her are a wonderful team at our church! Anyhow after she prayed for me I soon felt the urge for the first time in many days to pray. And I did. And since then my depression has lifted and has gradually gone away. So that now, I feel okay, and ready for more life.

The Body of Christ. Just how important are our brothers and sisters in our lives? Do we have a reciprocal relationship of receiving from them, and giving back from what God gives us through them? Little do we know the blessing in Jesus we can be to each other. And the blessing we can receive from others. I received a good reminder firsthand of the truth and power of this on Sunday.

What thoughts would you like to add on this?

tomorrow: "Forest Star - humility" from L.L. Barkat, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places




Ted M. Gossard said...

C.F. Stevens,
Welcome to my blog, dear brother.

Blessings to you over there in India!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I want to add this. Sharon's praying Sunday morning was dealing with root issues. I believe a friend is right who recently told me that depression is a symptom, not the root, and the root is what has to be dealt with.

But the point of this post is that we need each other in Jesus. We are one Body and each part has its contribution to make both constitutionally (ongoing) and at special times (situational, lack of a better word at the moment- the thought being given by God just for that moment or specific interval in time- timely would be an okay term as well.

Anonymous said...

i think that i am being called to interact more with my family right now.

preacherman said...

I totally understand brother. I am on 3 anti-depressants. I am getting of one this week because I have suicidal and unhealthy thoughts. I want you to know that you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers. I am glad that we have the body of Christ to help us in our walk. I can't imagine doing it alone.

Mike said...

PTL Ted. I pray for you everytime I'm on the "Community."

The friends and fellow workers God places in our lives are tremendous blessings.

Praise God for his refreshment during this time. Praise him for the faithful pastor to pray and for the church you attend that cares so much about each other.

Anonymous said...

actually, i do need to interact more with my family, but, i think that means that i will need the support here more than ever.

just looking for a balance in all of it, but, i think that perhaps i should look to God for the balance.

i am taking effexor xr and all i want to do is eat. but, i do not think that there is much of an option for me right now.

when i was on paxil i felt great, so i tried to work myself off of it. i really do not know if i could go without some kind of medication. but, it does take a lot of trying different kinds of medications to find what helps the best. sometimes a combination of things for different people.

no person has all the answers, we just do the best we can, i guess.

i do wonder if there is something that i would have to do to be healed, like, being at a certain place in my spiritual journey or something. but, no person has the answer to that either.

but, i do agree that we all need eachother in Jesus. and, maybe that is the answer, to need Jesus in one another, and to share the need of Him, and the joy that we can have only in Him.

preacherman said...

I have been on Cymbalta which gave me suicidal thoughts and drove me even more into depression. I took Effexor ER, Godon, Amytriptalene, and Lexapro.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Anti-depressants and me dont' seem to mix well, though I know depression is no fun, either. But I doubt that I have anything at all like you have had to go through. I must admit though, it had been worse as of late.

But yes, we need the Body of Christ. We need each other in Jesus, more than we can imagine.

Ted M. Gossard said...

...and you're in my prayers as well, Kinney! Thanks!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Mike! And thanks for your prayers. You have mine, as well.

But yes. I am really blessed with the church we have. Wonderful people!

Ted M. Gossard said...

It is so hard to know what to say on this, or to have wisdom. I am going to read a book by Ed Welch on depression, which has been highly recommended to me, and I'll surely share from it on my blog, when I do.

But I really think there are serious conditions we have to address. Like when I have no feeling about anything, really. That is not right.

On the other hand, I think we live in a society in which lament and feeling badly is just not acceptable, when in Scripture we see it alot, I think. The psalms alone have plenty of lament in them. But if you're down at all in our society, well somehow you don't fit in. That's not Scripture or what Jesus taught us, I don't think- like "Blessed are the poor in spirit", or "Blessed are those who mourn".

L.L. Barkat said...

Depression. That's a hard load to carry. But I notice that you are exercising. That's good. I have a psychologist friend who no longer recommends medications to anyone except in extreme cases of imminent suicide attempt. Her advice, besides getting to the root of the sadness? Exercise. A lot. For the endorphins. And take high dosages of essential fatty acids, also to lift mood. Kind of interesting, yes?

But I feel deeply for you. This past year, I've often been in sadness and it is difficult to bear.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your encouraging words. And I love your thoughts on no medication except in worst cases. Deb will love that, as well.

Today I walked 6.75 miles in less than 2 hours with your book in hand, reading over the chapter on humility tomorrow. What a chapter! It is clear, but I really don't think I get it! But anyhow, blessedly, Deb was delayed, and I had mistakenly walked a route that she doesn't take, so that on a normal day she would have missed me. I do like to walk, though much more leisurely than I did today.

Thanks, and sorry to hear of your own sadness. Lament is certainly not absent in Scripture, and I know you mentioned it this morning on "Jesus Creed."

Laure said...

ted, i thank God for those brothers and sisters, who we may not know intimately but whose faith and love for our Father and His saints is such that the laying on of their hands and the gift of their prayers spoken over us ushers in light in the dark place we find ourselves. i continue to lift you up in prayer and like others, i praise God for your readiness for more life.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your kind words and prayers.

Yes, we all need to do what we can, and be faithful for each other. But some are especially gifted in this, as our pastor, Sharon is. Jack, her husband is every bit as gifted as her, but like everyone, we're all gifted differently. I think he does well in this, but it seems this is what she does, and it seems blessed of God.

I think much of our weakness as Christians lies in the weakness of our Body life. We need to be present and active for each other in it. But this does not seem to compute with everyone. But we're not meant to go it alone!


Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I think if we remember that scripture uses the analogy of a real body to represent who we, as believers, should be to each other, it will be easy to see that all are needed. Not only that, we are each needed in functioning capacity for the whole to be healthy.

I think that is one of the greatest benefits of having physical problems with my spine - and various and sundry other parts of my body - is that it serves to remind me how messed up my whole body can get just because some parts aren't pulling their own weight and others are trying to take up the slack - leading to a mess all around!

I would recommend to all of you who struggle with or know people who struggle with depression, Edward T Welch's book, "Depression: A Stubborn Darkness--Light for the Path". It is an excellent commentary on depression - what it is, what it isn't, ways to deal with it. For someone who has struggled with depression for many years, it has been an invaluable tool for me.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your excellent, and helpful comment!