“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.”
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”
A path is a route that has been taken so often that it has been worn down. It’s hard and there is no life on it.
Are there parts of my life, of my heart, that are worn down from constant use to the point that God’s Word can’t penetrate them?
I remember thinking that I was always going to be depressed. For people with Bipolar II Disorder, the time spent in depression verses mania is 37 to 1. For me, Bipolar II Disorder was just a life full of depression with the occasional flight into an artificial high. And since that high was equally unhealthy, the crash was that much darker.
The path of depression was well-worn in my heart. I’d walked that trail hundreds of times, to the point that it was all I knew.
So, when I read or heard God’s Word about health or hope, there were many times when it was a seed falling on a hardened path. It had nothing to grow in, so it was an easy target for the devil to steal.
“You’ll always be this way.”
God’s Word contradicts the well-worn path.
I won’t always be this way. Change is possible.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Depression cannot consume me. God’s Word says so. And I choose to believe God’s Word over my own thoughts and feelings.
But how do I find change? If I could have changed my mental condition, I would have. I’d tried many times to change, with few positive results.
God’s compassion for me did not fail. He led me to start attending recovery meetings. He planted a seed in my heart that started exposing a blind spot in my thinking.
The seed that God planted got me to start questioning some of the things I’d been believing about myself.
Recovery taught me that God can and will help me do my part.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
He not only sows His Word into my life, but He provides help for me to receive His Word so that it can grow and produce fruit.
There may be many things that I can’t do when I’m in the pit of depression. But I can turn my thoughts to God. I can read a few verses.
I don’t have to read whole chapters or memorize long passages to get God’s help. I just have to receive the seed that He gave me.
I’m not in this alone. Hope is available.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Why bother? Because it can get better, even though I don’t have the ability to make it all better.
It’s not all up to me. I just have to turn to God and ask Him to help me and then believe that He will.
When I was in the pit of depression, Jesus told me that He was down there in the pit next to me. And He said that even if I never got out of the pit, He would be with me always.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Then, He led me to others who shared my struggles. He taught me that there were other people I could trust with my weaknesses, and that He could use them to help make me stronger.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Now I have a support system of close friends who can comfort me when I’m down, and guide me when I’m confused.
But I didn’t start out with all that. I started out with a hardened, well-worn path in my heart.
The amazing news of the gospel is that God didn’t leave me that way. His compassion for me just kept coming every morning, planting seeds and then helping me to do my part to protect those seeds.
I have reaped a harvest of hope and health.
And everything He did for me, He can and will do for you.
What well-worn path in your heart is God contradicting with His Word today?
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