Dr. Hope is a retired Professor of Psychology (also a recovered drug addict totally drug free for over twenty-one years). Write to him at PO Box 187 North Beach, WA 6020. Real names are never used in this article.
Miraculous Hebrew Words:Relief from even the worst depression lies in some special Hebrew words. The Old Testament has seven such words describing worship. They are:
Downers:What used to be called the "age of anxiety" is now the Age of Depression. Prolonged, chronic anxiety inevitably leads to depression. Observe people in a shopping center. Many have that look of utter dismay as though they lost their tribes. They suffer unresolved grief. They are afraid without knowing what they fear. They are sad but unable to cry. They are in grief but not really grieving. They cannot express themselves. Everything is inchoate! They cannot laugh. They need to watch a comedian in order to laugh and, even then, Itís just a snicker not a hearty laugh. Worst of all, they cannot really live. Life is tasteless. It just slips through the fingers like sand. The doctor prescribes antidepressants that provide some relief. You donít feel so bad, you donít feel so much, finally you donít feel at all. Until the drug wears off.
Then you need another, and then another prescription. So we stroll through the shopping mall of life, on the way to the chemist, clutching the Zoloft prescription in one hand and the cash in the other, not quite remembering where the car is parked, hoping we donít run into anyone we know. Not just now, Oh God, I need to be alone with my thoughts. Like a poisoned dog slinking into the corner to die. The Age of Depression. God, oh my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Uplift:If we are not too stoned to ask that question, we will get an answer. God always answers. What you really need, and what the doctor should prescribe instead of the Prozak, is intense, whole-hearted, ever-loving, hand-clapping, foot-stomping, moan and groan, soul-restoring, shake and quake, worship of our Living God. YADAH, TOWDAH, HALAL. SHABACH, BARAK, ZAMAR. Bible-belt worship. Great-Southland-of-the Holy-Spirit worship. Like the Pentecostals do. Like the foot-washing Baptists and the Holy Rollers. Like the American Blacks. You think you got problems? What about the ghetto American Blacks? Or even the Jews? Yea, like the Jews! Have you heard Messianic Jews worship, lately? Get a tape and listen. They make Benny Hin sound like a night at the opera. You think YOU got problems? YADAH, TOWDAH, HALAL. SHABACH, BARAK, ZAMAR! Go fer it. Get stuck into it. Praise the Lord! Give Him all you got! Spill your guts! (I mean lay bare your soul.) Fall on your face! Bang the gong! Lift Holy hands. Wowee. Brothers and Sisters! Fools for Christ! Lift Jesus higher! And then, then, then...quietly, quietly, softly...be still and know that I am God, and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to come upon you. "Flood my soul." Take away my grief, give me the courage to put down the pills, Lord, and rely on You. Precious Jesus, take away my compulsions, my obsessions, my depression, my drugs, my sin... Take away my depressing Co-dependency, my depressing videos, my depressing relationships with depressing people, my depressing lifestyle... Make me lie down in green pastures. Lead me beside still waters...
And then , after an hour, after real praise, worship, surrender, repentance and Holy Spirit infusion, giving it all you got, if you are still depressed and hanging out, give me a call and weíll pray together.
I need your help. You see, Jesus says that if I help you with your problems, I wonít get depressed. Yes, He did. I canít quite find the exact Scriptures this very minute but itís there somewhere. Anyway, I canít take pills because Iím a recovered drug addict. If I take one Trycyclic, Iíll be back on the dope in no time. You think YOU got problems? Praise the Lord, Iím clean today. Nothing in my blood but blood.
Brothers and sisters, yeah and amen. We were created by Our Ever-Loving God to worship Him. If we donít, in all the ways He wants us to, we will get severely depressed. We will get sick. We will go down to the pit, the valley of the shadow of death. Many will actually die. But not you and I. As for me and my house... See you in church!
Dr. Hope (Charles Slack) has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Princeton University and was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Harvard from 1955-1960. He is the author of numerous papers and one book.
© 1997 Charles Slack, MAIN LINE, Perth, Western Australia