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Summary: A look at the dangers of depression, and what God has done to help us in our times of emotional overload.

Humor: Have you ever heard this expression, "It’s enough to make a preacher cuss." It reminds me of story about little boy trying to sell a lawn mower. The local pastor walked up and he was able to persuade him to buy the worn out lawn mower. The pastor pulled on the rope several times to make sure the mower would start, but nothing happen. Not even a spit or a sputter.

The boy told the preacher that he would have to kick the mower and say a few cuss words before the mower would crank. The preacher said, "Son, I can’t do that. It’s been years since I said a cuss word." The little boy replied, "Just keep pulling and it will come back to you."...

The Christians two chief occupational hazards are depression and discouragement.

What is depression? Depression is a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that leads to sadness.

It shocks us when we realize that great men and women go through periods of deep, dark depression. For instance, Winston Churchill said, "Depression followed me around like a black dog all of my life." A young lawyer in the 1800’s suffered such a deep depression that his friends did everything they could to keep all razors and knives away from him. He wrote these words, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not." This lawyer later became the 16th president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln. Even a man by the name of Charles Spurgeon was given to periods of depression. History tells us that there were times when Spurgeon would be so depressed that he would refuse to leave his home to go to church. On more than one occasion, his deacons had to come and physically carry their pastor to the pulpit.

· •Depression affects all classes, races, ages, groups and genders of people.

· •17.6 million Americans will deal with some form of depression this year.

· •One out of every 5 Americans can expect to deal with depression in their lifetime.

· •The rate of clinical depression is twice that of men. Statistics teach that one person out of every seven in this very room will need some form of professional help in dealing with depression in their lifetime.

· •The National Institute of Mental Health estimated that depression cost the nation between $30-$44 billion in 1990 alone. In addition to that, over 2 million work days are lost each year due to depression.

· •Depression is the leading cause of alcoholism, drug abuse, and other addictions.

· •Untreated depression is the number on cause of suicide.

· •Depression is not something to mess with! If you are dealing with depression, get help!

Of course, not all depression is bad. Depression is the body’s natural reaction to shock. When a time of grief, stress, frustration, or illness occurs, the brain will release chemicals that will serve to numb the mind and body. This is like a shock absorber. However, there are times when the brain and its chemicals become so out of balance that clinical depression may occur. Professionals say that a period of depression lasting over 2 weeks should be considered serious and needs treatment.

V. 3 After all he had already faced: the dry brook, the empty barrel, the dead boy, the prophets of Baal and the lack of rain; and after all that he had seen the Lord do: close the heavens, replenish the barrel, raise the boy, consume the sacrifice, enable the prophet to destroy the false prophets and to run to Jezreel - it seems that Jezebel was a nothing, a non-problem. Yet, Elijah does that which is irrational and runs away. I mean when you are kicked by a mule, just consider the source! When a carnal person kicks your life and work, just ignore them and carry on!

He doesn’t just leave Jezreel, Elijah runs due south almost 125 miles. He actually left Israel and ran all the way to the southern border of Judah. He went as far as he could so that he might avoid the reach of one woman!

Illustration: When duck hunting I often see beavers, the beavers never where a problem…until one time when I had a close encounter. It was just about dark and I was gathering up my decoys when I noticed a beaver swimming in my direction. I didn’t pay any attention to the beaver just figured he would soon turn and swim off as they always did. Just as I put a decoy in my bag and took another step towards the rest of my decoys I hear a large splash right behind me and looking over my shoulder I could tell it was just about to take a chuck out of my back side. As I spun to fight it off it spun with me, so I spun again and it did likewise. The faster I spun the faster it spun and the closer it got to my back side when finally I felt I could out run it no longer I put my hand down to fight off it’s bit and realized I was running from one of my decoys. The string that runs from the decoy to the weight had wrapped around my leg and with every movement I pulled the decoy behind me, and with every turn I wrapped the line and pulled it closer. I had almost given myself a heart attack running from a decoy. How often do we run from things in the same way just because we haven’t looked at them from the right perspective?

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