Psalms 84:11-12 For the Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O lord almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
As I drove to visit my son on Friday, the sky was gray and overcast, full of long banks of clouds. Though it was mid morning, it felt like twilight because of the dimmed light. True, the clouds blocked the heat of the sun, making it a pleasant enough trip, but I found my muscles were tense and my thoughts somber, matching the grey skies. Though I prayed throughout the trip, the prayers felt dismal, centering on the problems my family and I were currently facing.
Nearing the Maryland border, there was a break in the clouds. In places the sun peeked through and created patterns of light and shadows as I drove through the heavily wooded areas. I suddenly realized that my thoughts had lightened too - I was concentrating on happier things and praising God for the sun's breakthrough. My hands no longer clenched the wheel and my shoulders began to relax as I enjoyed the ride once more.With each passing mile, my heart lifted until I was singing joyful praise songs to the Lord.
When we are in the throes of discouragement, it is difficult to remember how blessed we really are! Discouragement is like that overcast sky. The clouds or worry and care dim the sunlight. The size of the problems build, growing darker and more ominous causing torrential tears or resounding anxieties.
This discouragement/depression sequence can be debilitating. A tiny problem can mushroom in our lives, feeling so large until all we see are the dark sides of the situation. All we can feel are our tears and heavy hearts.When we reach this point, we've lost our hope. We just can't see how the situation can ever get better and we begin to sink into the muck and mire of a full-blown depression.
It's not something we can lift ourselves out of by just "pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps" and moving forward. We usually need help to overcome the debilitating defeat, discouragement and depression.
That's why God gave us the spiritual weapons of prayer and praise. He asks us to trade our threadbare garments of discouragement and to put on His beautiful garment of praise. It has Sonlight woven right into the threads and when we put it on, His light begins to lift our spirits. Just like the sun can lift our mood after the dismal rain clouds.
It is the power of God's Word and His Light that lift us up spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We can help the process by taking time to count our blessings each day. Each blessing is like a single beam of light. As we remember each thing God has done for us, we allow one Sonbeam then another and another into the dismal places of our heart until His powerful beams drive away all the darkness. No shadows can encroach on His light!
Like other areas of our Christian walk - it may sound like an easy "cure" for depression. But it's not easy at all. We may need to consciously and even forcibly direct our minds away from our worries and toward Him. Sometimes we sink so far into the mire of it all that we don't have the strength left to even direct our minds toward Him.
We need the help and prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters to encourage and lift us up. We may sometimes need medication to mellow the depression so we can function and begin to take the steps we need toward wholeness. The important thing is that we take positive steps toward overcoming the depression. Once we can begin to get God's Light inside us, the darkness will flee.
Though He is powerful enough to heal depression instantly, I think God prefers to do it slowly, In the slow step by step healing process He draws so close. He strengthens our relationship with Him and we learn to hear His voice more clearly.Those things can only be taught as we are held in His loving arms. Healthy sheep struggle to run and play. The tired and sick ones are more content to lay in His arms.
My prayer for you today is that you will learn to lay quietly in His arms, listening to His heart. There you will see and feel and hear His love for you. The dismal dark clouds will begin to fade and His love/Light will shine in your hearts and on your face!
Love to you all,