Confessions: Anxiety, Depression and Some Helps (2)
A couple of weeks ago I began to share with you some resources that have encouraged me as I've wrestled with being melancholy. In that article, I included some helpful books and even charged you to read substantial passages of the Bible. I ended the article by saying I will share with you some of the musicians God has used to minister to me in downcast seasons in the next article. That article is here.
If you know me, you know that I really enjoy music. I have played the piano since a young child and have enjoyed singing in my local church for as long as I can remember. Music is a powerful tool the Lord can use to express worship to Him and be reminded of the glories of the gospel and the hope of the new heavens and the new earth.
Below are some artists (not the only artists), but artists I think you should familiarize yourself with if you struggle with anxiety and depression. I think of these brothers and sisters as good, faithful shepherds and I commend them to you wholeheartedly.
If you know me well, you know that Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite living singer/songwriters. Andrew reminds me in melody form that I worship the Lord not because here and now is so great, but because what's to come is so great. Andrew's music lifts my thoughts toward eternity with my Triune God while grappling with real struggles in the here and now messiness of life. Andrew himself wrestles with depression and anxiety and in the midst of it, he reminds us that everything we go through this side of eternity has beauty and purpose to it. So, if you haven't heard his music I suggest starting with his album The Burning Edge of Dawn. He actually wrote this album (along with some others) during a very dark time in his life.
Beautiful Eulogy is a rap group on Humble Beast Records. I like just about everything they produce. They have 3 albums and they are all devotionally and theologically rich. You will learn some things about God if you listen to them. Also, you may or may not see me tears streaming driving down the road rapping some of their God-centered music. I'm not ashamed. Their latest album, Worthy has ministered to me tremendously in seasons of depression and discouragement.
Rain for Roots
My wife and I are always on the hunt for biblically grounded children's music that's not torture to listen to. If you're like us, listen to this band. If you don't have kids, listen to this band. They have produced about three children's albums and I've fallen in love with the songs. They are simple truths I lose sight of. One particular song that's ministered to me in dark seasons is their song "Do Not Worry" featuring Ellie Holcomb.
I've listened to Fernando for years, but the centrality of Christ in his songs and even the way he plays the piano is therapeutic to me. He is a common go-to in our household. Here is a link to my favorite song by him called Sing to Jesus.
Keith and Kristyn Getty
The Getty's are perhaps some of the greatest songwriters for local churches today. If you're a part of a healthy church, chances are you are singing their songs. They wrote songs such as "In Christ Alone" and "Christ is Risen He's Risen Indeed". One particular album of theirs called Facing a Task Unfinished includes a song called My Worth is Not in What I Own (which features Fernando Ortega, by the way). When I listen and worship to this song my spirit resonates with the lyrics and the Holy Spirit uses it to comfort me immensely.
These aren't the only musicians/songwriters the Lord uses to minister to me, but these are the main ones. They have skillfully given me language around some of my experiences and feelings and most importantly they direct the meditations of my heart to my Triune God, the only comforter of my soul.