The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17


A long time ago, as I was reading Traveling Light by Max Lucado, I noted how he said that “loneliness is the absence of intimacy.” He went on to say how loneliness could be looked on as a gift from God. When we’re lonely and have no one close who we can be honest and intimate with, we would be forced to go to God. He’d be the only one left.

But, although I like Lucado’s writings, I disagree with him here and feel it was an insensitive thing to say. So many of us living with depression have a hard time going to God when we’re in the depths. Sometimes we are blamed for it, told that we’re depressed because we’re not close to God. The truth is, our mental health often makes him seem too far away to reach, though we try.

Because of that I need people for support. People I could have coffee with. A person who will respond to what I have to say. I need more than God alone. I need the love of those who represent him. The best are from my church family – people I worship with, people who are spiritually on the same page as me, people who will support me and to whom I can, in turn, give support.

Often when depression threatens, and especially when it has taken hold, I’m very lonely. God seems far away and I need to be reminded I’m loved. Then I find that God loves through people. Friends can – and have been – God’s hands for me.

Needing our friends is fine as long as we don’t start relying on them. God is the only one we can truly rely on. Friends are needy as well sometimes. They can’t always be there for us.

Although God sometimes seems distant, he does not leave us. In fact, he waits for us to reach out to him. He wants us close.