I believe I fell into depression because it runs in our family and because I invited two major stress situations into my life at the same time. It was not visited on me by God, but He did allow it to happen.
That said, I learned a number of important lessons through four years of major depression.
Lesson One. I thought I was in control of my life and the captain of my own ship. The depression I endured proved that wrong. There was little of my life I could control while depressed, and I often did not even know where my ship was. A bout with prostate cancer reinforced the lesson that I have little control over my life, but I can have hope because God is in charge through all the trials, tribulations, and afflictions of my life.
Lesson Two. Life on earth is not a pleasant place from time to time. I learned to accept my lot in life and look forward to a better life to come – that is, heaven.
Lesson Three. For much of my life, Jesus had been a familiar acquaintance, but with depression, I needed more than that, and He obliged. Jesus came to my aid many times when I was about to slide down into a bottomless pit. I learned through this to have such a close relationship with Him that He would always be there as my best friend and constant companion. I am still learning that lesson.
With those three lessons learned – and there were many more – I look back now on my depression as a good thing because I learned valuable lessons that set the sail on my ship, a vessel I am no longer the captain of, but the Holy Spirit keeps me on a course that is safe.