I have had a few days of relief from the depression demons. When that happens, I notice.
Usually, I remember to thank God for giving me a little break; I know that the demons will be back because warfare is the name of the game. When I am “on break”, I can remember that gains are made in the fight, not when the going is easy. I can remember that I’m supposed to be part of the Church Militant, not the Church Triumphant.
This reading from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers reminds me of those things, too:
“Abba Poemen said of Abba John the Dwarf that he had prayed God to take his passions away from him so that he might become fee from care. He went and told an old man this: ‘I find myself in peace, without an enemy,’ he said. The old man said to him, ‘Go, beseech God to stir up warfare so that you may regain the affliction and humility that you used to have, for it is by warfare that the soul makes progress.’ So he besought God and when warfare came, he no longer prayed that it might be taken away, but said, ‘Lord, give me strength for the fight.’”
I try to remember to thank God for the fight, when I’m in it. It seems to me, from what I have read and heard, that God allows us to experience spiritual battles so that we’ll get stronger, so that we’ll learn to trust Him, and even to test us.
As for those tests, though, a friend reminds me that, “God gives us exams, gives us both the questions and answers to the exam, and the praises us when we pass the exam!”
We can’t fail if we trust in God.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!