Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fighting Dragons

     It is a dragon that can slay the bravest of hearts. It does not discriminate. It can strike when least expected and is able to construct elaborate ruses, feints, and ambushes that are designed to take the traveler completely by surprise. Yet on the other hand, it can be a frustratingly predictable adversary who keeps its annual appointments with alarming and despicable regularity. It is not a respecter of maturity, of age, of wisdom, of status, or position. It decries human understanding and loves to masquerade under many disguises. It has held captive the likes of Mother Theresa, C.S. Lewis, Ansel Adams, Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Elijah, David, and more. It has also stalked my family. I am well acquainted with its name, its face, and its modus operandi. Sometimes it brings paralysis, other times indifference, and yet at other times it will spread a web of lies that look so real that they become an alternate reality the traveler is somehow tempted to believe. 
    It is an illness, a sickness, and a disease that can ravage the mind, the body, and the soul. David the Psalmist understood all too well. More than once I have understood the depth of his words:  "“I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. …I groan because of the turmoil of my heart” (Psalm 38:6,8 - NKJV). I am talking about that terrible foe, that enemy, that dragon known as depression.
    I think my most difficult struggles with depression have not come as a result of my own struggles in this area (yes, I, too, know this foe), but have come instead when I have had to watch this despicable scourge lay waste to someone that I love. It is not that I have not seen victory...because I have, but I have also recently seen this enemy return once more to camp at the door of my house. I know the verses upon which to stand. Thank goodness I hid so many of them in my heart when I was but a child. I know about the wonderful armor and the weapons of our warfare against this dragon and his brother, The Dragon of Old. I know and believe that the Word of God is a powerful offensive weapon and is sharper than any two-edged sword. I know the Truth that will set not only me, but others free. I believe it. I really do. But I see the dragon breathing fire and stalking his prey. It makes me tremble.It makes me weep. Then it makes me mad. 
  All I gotta say is that it better watch out. St. George the dragon-slayer has nothing on this momma. 
St. George and the Dragon by Gustave Moreau
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39

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