Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you. (Psalm 130:1-4)
When I am in the grip of depression, the last thing I want to hear is that I’ve done nothing to deserve it. My mind busily rehashes old regrets. I am convinced of my guilt over many things. I see my depression, no matter how severe, as but a small price to pay for my sin.
The good news that saves us from the darkest corners of depression is not that we are “good enough” on our own. It is that in spite of how horribly we mess up, God has a word of grace to speak to us. God will lift us up when we have fallen into a pit. We don’t have to be “good enough” for grace.
God’s is not the hounding voice of the depression – pointing out to us every flaw, every mistake, and every fault. God’s is the voice of the father who joyfully tells his servants to “kill the fatted calf” when his son returns home.
God’s is the still small voice gently reminding us whose we are and telling us what we can do to make things better.
God’s is the voice who calls out to all created things, “You are good.”
God’s is the voice that spoke from the heavens at the baptism of Jesus, “You are my Son, with you I am well pleased.”
The voice of God answers our own meager voices crying out in such a way that we know we are heard and loved.