God is faithful in the midst of depression
I was sitting in the chapel for morning worship at a theological college on the day of a job interview.
At home, my wife, Ali, had been suffering from severe depression for a couple of years, which had caused her to leave the job she loved as a church minister. She was improving very slowly, and it wasn’t clear how long her recovery would take.
During the service, the Old Testament reading included this: ‘I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten’ (Joel 2:25 RSV). I was astonished, for I had been puzzling over how God could bring anything good from the difficult situation we were in, and yet here was the prophet Joel telling the people of Israel that God would repay them for the ecological devastation which swarms of locusts had brought to their crops. If God could do that for them, then he could certainly restore Ali’s health.
That verse sustained me for the three or so years which followed, as Ali slowly recovered and was able to resume her role as a pastor. Incidentally, I got the job, and being there was part of Ali being able to recover through having opportunities to teach in the college—and that bore further fruit much later in her becoming a theological college lecturer herself, further evidence of God restoring ‘the years that the swarming locust has eaten’.
–Revd Prof Steve Walton is Part-Time Tutor in New Testament at Trinity.