Tag Archives: depression

Things Change

I get up and watch my children get ready for school. Sometimes I help, but mostly it is my wife that does the heavy lifting in the mornings.

The house is silent. The children are at school and I am still in my bathrobe, drinking coffee, listening to Bach, and contemplating the fact that I am still here. I am still here, a son, a husband, a father, a pastor serving Christ’s Church in California.

The crucifixion dino muradian

Nine years ago today (Good Friday) I was ready to die. My depression had gotten the best of me. My insurance company called to tell me that I was “all better,” and that they were taking me off of disability, effective two weeks prior. It sent me into a tailspin that took months to recover from. I’m not sure if I have recovered even yet.

The day was a blur nine years ago, slogging through molasses, contemplating how to kill myself while I preached our Lord’s death for the sins of the world. But I did not kill myself. Things changed.

He used people, sinners waiting to die like me, and through them, He kept me alive. My pastor, my counselor, and most importantly, my wife and my children. They kept me alive so that I lived another day. They kept me alive, in part so that maybe, maybe, I could help someone else off of the ledge like they did for me.

In the darkness of depression and sorrow and uncertainty, hear this: things change. Don’t believe the lie that your heart would tell you, that things are bad and can only get worse. They may get worse for a time, that is true. But on this, the darkest day in the history of the world, things changed. Life began anew out of death. And so it will be for you. Doctors, counselors, pastors, family, friends, even the Internet stranger can be God’s instrument for bringing life and healing to you.

In God, my faithful God,
I trust when dark my road;
Great woes may overtake me,
Yet He will not forsake me.
My troubles He can alter;
His hand lets nothing falter. (Lutheran Service Book 743:1)

Good Friday isn’t about religious piety, pithy sayings and quotes from the Bible that make you feel bad and yet strangely self-righteous that you somehow remembered. Good Friday is about one Man who reached out and took the place of every man, woman, and child. Because He said yes to our Father’s will, we know that things change. There is hope, and life, and a bright future, even when your life is dark and full of sorrow. Things change.

Thanks be to God.

Todd A. Peperkorn is pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California. He is the author of the book, I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. He is also the co-host of the podcast, The Crux of the Matter.

Advent Longing

Annunciation 1 large

It is always dangerous to say that a season is my favorite time of the year.  But there it is.  Right now Advent is my favorite time of the year.  The hymns are sublime, the Gospel is clear and beautiful.  The hope of the One to Come washes over you like a flood.

The longing of Advent for me is also closely associated with death.  Our daughter, Nadia, died in utero the day after Thanksgiving in 2005.  Our Son, Emmanuel, died in utero on December 21, 2009.  My mother died on January 9.  So this season is really a time of longing for me.  Longing for what is gone.  Longing for what can never be.

But that really is what our Lord’s coming is all about.  Our Lord’s birth is miraculous.  It should not have happened.  By all reason and common sense, it is impossible.  Yet it is true.

This season as we long for what is lost, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  He is the One who wipes away our tears.  He is the one who will create all things new.  He is the one who has gives us hope (Nadia) by becoming one with our flesh and blood.  He is God-with-Us (Emmanuel).

Lord, make all things new.  I hope in your Word alone.

-Pr. Peperkorn


IMPACT: I Trust When Dark My Road

(This is a copy of the  article on my church’s web site.)

Messiah Lutheran Church is pleased to announce its first speaker in the IMPACT series. The IMPACT series is a series of presentations available to the community in conjunction with our fiftieth anniversary.

Our first presentation is entitled, I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression.  Our speaker is Pastor Todd A. Peperkorn, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church.  The title of the presentation comes from Pastor Peperkorn’s book of the same title, published in 2009.

Please consider joining us for this important topic.  It is free of charge.  You may follow updates on the IMPACT series through our Facebook page:

Messiah’s Facebook Page

You may also indicate if you will be attending by going to the Facebook event:

Facebook IMPACT event: I Trust When Dark My Road

We hope to see you there!

Psalm Six: Does God Hate Me or Love Me? Yes…

Here is a link to my interview on Issues Etc. from last night on Psalm Six. It does raise lots of interesting questions. One of the questions it raises is this: does God hate me or love me? We often will hear the phrase “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” I’m not so sure about that. It think it would be pretty hard in the Scriptures to separate God’s righteous hatred for sin from his righteous hatred for the sinner.

The point, however, is that this is not the final word. God takes out His just punishment on Jesus at the cross. God does not deal with me according to his anger anymore (Ps. 6:1) but he deals with me according to His graciousness (Ps. 6:2). If we forget or ignore one, we lose the whole enchilada.

Anyway, there’s my interview. Enjoy!


I Trust When Dark My Road NOW AVAILABLE FREE online

(This was originally posted at I Trust When Dark My Road. I won’t normally cross-post, but this is an obvious exception. -TAP)


The wait is finally over!

Nearly three years after I began the process of writing this book, it is now available for free download. The free print version will be available sometime in mid-late July. It is at the printer as we speak.

I would urge you to go to the website listed below and order as many copies as they will let you or as many as you need. then download the book and start to get a sense of it. I am very excited and anxious to hear your thoughts on this, and I pray it will serve as a blessing to the Church.

I would especially like to thank Maggie Karner, Al Dobnia, Sarah M. Shafer, Philip Hendricksen, and the entire staff at LCMS World Relief and Human Care for their kindness and work in helping this project come to fruition. They are a wonderful group of people!

So check it out and let me know what you think.

In Christ
Pastor Todd Peperkorn
I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression

To request your complimentary copy, call 800-248-1930, ext. 1380.