God is ready to step in and save when we lose hope.
Depression does not pick and choose its victims, nor do the victims choose it.
Many suffer quietly with this mental disorder.
Decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps, struggles with this disease and has seen the very pit of despair that depression can bring.
His darkest times included drugs, drinking, being arrested multiple times, and overall lack of confidence and self-esteem.
He found that he was trying to fill a void left when his father divorced his mother. Michael was only nine years old at the time. Leaving and not turning back, his father who was a Maryland State Trooper abandoned his family.
Michael’s coach stepped in as a father figure and went through some trying times in attempting to help Michael out.
As things began to spiral down after the Olympics in Beijing, Michael turned to drugs to help numb the emptiness he felt.
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Acts 3:19-21
In 2012 he retired as the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Once out of the public eye, he went into self-isolation. He was on self-destruct gaining 30 pounds, drinking, doing drugs and had even contemplated suicide.
The void in Michael’s heart was felt greater than ever. God was not done with Michael for He had plans for Him.
One evening he was pulled over and arrested for drunk-driving.
Five days later he admitted himself to a rehab facility where he spent 45 days in therapy.
One of his close friends who is a Christian, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, gave him a devotional book to read while in rehab. “The Purpose Driven Life” had slowly begun to turn Michael’s way of thinking around.
Upon completing the book, Michael knew some things in his life needed to change. One being that he needed to mend things with his father. But the most significant change needed to come from him giving himself to God and surrendering everything to Him. The void Michael had within his heart was yearning for God and Michael came to realize nothing from this world could fill it.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
Once Michael opened that door to God, complete restoration began.
As the old self was washed away and the new self put on, blessings began to pour into Michael’s life.
Shortly after that Michael was back in the pool at the Olympics in Rio.
He had a relationship with his father again, he met and married someone and saw arrival of his first child.
Now that he is no longer in the spotlight of the Olympics, Michael focus’ on reinventing the lives of others and coaching swimmers.
His depression will always be a struggle for the rest of his life.
God chose to reach down in the deep darkness of satan’s grip and rescue Michael to give him a more purpose-driven life of which he shares with many now!
There is nothing that can fill a void that was meant for Jesus Christ!