Fasting Day 3 - Do Not Run From Depression

July 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

In these last three days, I have experienced profound shifting emotions, from depression and loneliness to peace and joy. And during a fast, they can turn in a moment’s notice. Add to that, there is no escaping them. When a negative emotion comes on like cold rain, there is no shelter. I cannot reach for a cookie, text a friend or have a beer. I just sit there, hold my pillow close, and allow it to pass over me. I will pray, but often praying doesn’t help one bit. I’m being honest. But 23 years of practicing fasting, I have learned that even though emotions feel so real, so in the moment—and even though emotions can color how I am seeing a situation, emotions are not the highest truth. In fact, my emotions can have no bases in truth at all. 

In other words, I can feel like everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, but the truth is, things are good, God loves me, and he is blessing my life. David had this figured out. Look at Psalm 13. You got to read this! It blows me away every time I do. Actually, here it is.

 

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts

    and every day have sorrow in my heart?

    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.

    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

  my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"

    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

  But I trust in your unfailing love;

    my heart rejoices in your salvation.

 I will sing to the LORD,

    for he has been good to me.

 

This guy was deeply depressed. He’s talking about defeat, death and the grave. And then, right when you just want to kill yourself, he says, “but,” and everything changes. He goes from talking about how he’s feeling to proclaiming his deep trust. Why? Because David was a shepherd before he was a king and spent a lot of time alone with his emotions, which taught him something about himself. Emotions come and go, but there is a greater, higher truth—and the only way to see truth, even when you cannot feel it, is by trust and faith. It gets better. David then goes on to say, even in his state of depression, that he will sing. Sing! The last thing I feel like doing when depressed is singing. 

During fasting, if a depressing feeling rains on you, there’s no escape. There’s nowhere to go. You got to face it, plain and simple. The idea of that for most folks is terrifying. But guess what? You get wet but you survive. It passes, and you become a little stronger because of it. You may be overtired, someone may have stepped on your new shoes, or an old feeling from a dysfunctional childhood comes visiting, you may be on your period (trust me, guys get them too), whatever. None of this changes God’s love for you. And the only way to discover that is by not running from emotions.

 If you are fat and don’t want to be fat, guess what? You’re using food to run from negative emotions. When I see a fat person I don’t say to myself, gee, that lady likes being fat. No. I ask myself, I wonder what she’s running from? Fasting forces you to stop running from negative feelings like nothing else will. When you discover that there is a higher truth then what your emotions are making you feel like, that’s life-changing stuff. 

Don’t feel God’s love? So what! He loves you. Don’t feel the presence of the Spirit? Whatever man, His abiding Spirit is with you. Like David, you can say right in the middle of your depression, “but I will trust in your unfailing love,” and watch things change, including your emotions. Before you know it, you will be singing too.   

Posted in: Fasting

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Comments (8) -

United States janice haley says:

Wow how did you know what was in my head? I'm addicted to overeating. I don't even know what emotion I'm running from. I do know I use food for comfort. I'd like to try a fast but I don't know the first thing about it. Can you recommend a site?

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Canada rlagerquist says:

I can recommend my book, Fasting to Freedom. Here is the link: www.freedomyou.com/...you_products_freedomyou.aspx

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United States Chrysalis says:

I'm on Day 3 of my fast. No sure how many days I will go, though I feel a pull toward 40-days since I have so many bad eating habits to break. I'm actually more afraid to start eating again. This is a journey and I'm so happy to have found Ron's website to guide me through the process.

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Thank you for sharing your raw soul, Ron.

I am on day 19 of a 60-day juice fast. I have juice fasted countless times over 10 years. There are many beautiful, inspiring days but I have also walked through the trying times as well. It makes the journey even sweeter in the end. That's the beauty of it all.

Yes, David encouraged himself. He was awesome. Smile

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Canada Iris Florean says:

Morning blessings

I finished couples weeks ago 39 days partial fasting, but yesterday I started to fast again. I don't know for how long I will be fasting only I know the Lord delivered me a lot in fasting and praying and last month he healed me from rotary cuff shoulder the doctor doesn't know what explanation to gave me.  

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Wow, this article truly blessed me. I look forward to how the holy spirit leads you to write your experience to help others. God is awesome! THAKYOU Ron for all that you do, and continue to walk with the Lord because you are such a TRUE blessing wich is so hard to find in the world today.

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Your post has helped me and encouraged me. I have been fasting again this year after departing from it for quite some time. But your post have helped me spiritually also to see some realities I wasn't seeing any other way. Thank you so much!

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United States Abigail says:

Thanks again for ur honesty it's so nice to read about real emotions and yet know despite the bad feelings that God is still there with me wether i feel it or not. Thanks for the reminder!

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