person stands on brown pathway



Stay the course if you want to be healed. But sometimes that’s not easy. It’s hard to stay on the path when you are depressed. There are times you Just want to give up. Right?

Some days are good, and some days are bad. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting better. It just means you are human. An examination of Psalms twenty-three might help.

He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

—Psalm 23:2


Psalm 23 is about being led on a journey. We are symbolically led beside calm waters. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a dark and frightening place. But God is there as well. The journey ahead doesn’t look any better. We feel scared and alone.

The psalmist talks about the rod and the staff, sheepherding tools. They have special significance for us on our journey as well. They help us stay the course; if we stay the course, we can be healed.

Shepherd’s Tools Explained

The staff was used to guide the sheep when they strayed too far or got tangled up in the bushes. The shepherd used the staff to bring the tangled-in-the-bushes sheep back to safety. The rod was then used to gently part the sheep’s wool to look for wounds that needed treating.

Today, the staff might well be considered God’s Word, which reveals the truth to us and guides our journey. The rod could be the Holy Spirit, who opens our wounds to expose them so they can be healed. We might not like seeing our ugly parts, but it’s necessary if we are to continue on our journey to wholeness.

The psalmist goes on to say that we don’t have to be afraid of evil (depression) because God is with us and is in the business of restoring our souls, even in the presence of our enemies. And we know who that is, don’t we?

You are not alone in this struggle with depression.

You are not in this battle alone. God promises to take care of you today just like a shepherd takes care of his sheep. God is walking through that valley with you while at the same time walking ahead of you, preparing the way and keeping you on the right path. He’s guiding you over the bumpy ground and steering you away from the pit. He promises this in Proverbs 4:12, “When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble.”

God already knows the struggles you will face, the people who might discourage you, and those who suggest you can’t get better. He has already provided the detour around those naysayers. Your only job is to follow Him and to follow him daily.

Some days are harder than others.

Some days will be tough. The path will get rocky, and you will want to either turn around or take a detour. I get it. It’s hard to stay on a path when you can’t see the destination. But remember, God does. He’s the one who created this path just for you, and He will see you through to the end.

Staying on the path to recovery from depression means hoping and believing daily that you are getting better. If you read this book in order and one day at a time, you are already on day seven of your recovery process. You are already further along the path.

I love to explore unknown trails. If I see a trail ahead of me, I’m on it. I love trails in the woods, along the beach, in the park, anywhere. They always remind me that God has a path for me to follow as well. 

landscape photo of pathway between green leaf trees/stay the course if you want to be healed
God is on the path ahead of you.

Stay the course.No detours are allowed.

Don’t take a detour. Stay on this path to wholeness. You will often be tempted to quit because the path to healing may seem way too long. Because you see no progress, you’re tempted to turn around and go back to your cocoon. Let’s face it. It seems easier than plodding along to a destination you don’t see. But you don’t have to know where the path leads. You only have to take it. 

Can you picture yourself on the path to healing?

Can you picture God in front of you holding out His hand?