My mind is a forest full of trees of many different kinds and colors and vibrant life. Thoughts move through it like the wind moving the leaves of my imagination; creativity flows like a stream cutting through the rocks. There are mountains and valleys, rivers and creeks, and there is a strong wind of the Holy Spirit moving it all in His dance. I live in this place where I try to make decisions and control the growth of the forest and tend to the trees. I allow the rains to fall out of the sky and the wind to bring life to everything.
Like any forest, if my mind becomes dry and the rain that God brings upon my mind through His Word and the Spirit’s power don’t fall, it burns.
I am the keeper of this wilderness and God is the voice that leads me on. Like any forest, if my mind becomes dry and the rain that God brings upon my mind through His Word and the Spirit’s power don’t fall, it burns. The forest doesn’t burn all at once. It starts with a small dry spot where I have blocked out the rain and the rivers have started to dry up. The wind tries to move through the leaves but the leaves have died and all it finds are bare branches. Something sparks and the dry parts catch, the rains don’t come; the fire spreads to all of the forest. This fire chokes out the life, kills the creativity, and blackens the once vibrant forest pushing me out of the space and God out of control.
Depression is the fire that ignites my mind. Where I don’t let God bring the rains of His love into my life, and I stop tending to the forest this dry ground is the beginning of an uncontrollable blaze. The smoke from the flames chokes out the joy that God once had control over and the peace that God once brought to my mind. My forest beings to decay and all that is left is a pile of ashes questioning how I got here.
Where I don’t let God bring the rains of His love into my life, and I stop tending to the forest this dry ground is the beginning of an uncontrollable blaze.
This fire first lit for me when I was 19 and in college trying to finish up my senior year. I was working, paying my loans, taking too many courses, and preparing for a future I knew would require a lot of work. The Bible was the last book I opened and the Holy Spirit was the last person I was talking to. The rain had ceased in my forest, and the forest was primed for a fire. The blaze started, and it spread. The smoke clogged up my mind. Darkness flooded me, and I began to feel nothing. Depression had come in full force, and I did not know what to do.
I begged God for the rain to come but He had other plans. God knew that my mind needed to burn just as any forest needs to burn. I needed to accept that I was not the one who tended the trees. I was not the one who carved the rivers. I was not the one who created the mountains and the valleys, and I was not the one that brought the rain. God needed to burn the forest of my mind so that new life may rise from the ashes. Depression was the vehicle God used to bring humility and order to the overgrowth of my pride and self-righteousness.
God needed me to hear the words of Job:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?” – Job 38:4-7