Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
November can be dismal here in Canada with less hours of daylight and all the beautiful, lush greenery of the past summer months turned to seemingly lifeless twigs and rotted mounds. It can be a tough time emotionally and psychologically for some people. I am not a doctor, nor do I suffer from chronic depression or mental illness, however I have endured a couple of seasons of SADDS in the past, and have also walked with loved ones as they endure(d) their darkness and sadness.
For some people it is now, and for others the length of the winter gets them later into the winter months. For those of you who are experiencing the lows, or SADDS, or suffer from other forms of ‘the blues’ or depression, God’s peace to you as you endure each day, one day at a time.
Today is not a deep theological, thought provoking post; it is simply an opportunity to reflect upon our mental health, and pray for those suffering with any form of depression, grief or sadness. I pray it is a day where we can be reminded to give each day to the Lord, seek his hope and light in the midst of darkness, and support one another.
So top up your coffee and let’s be encouraged this day….
There’s No Hiding….
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:7-14a
I always become a little nervous around the late fall and winter seasons, especially around January-February. I pay extra attention to a sense of heaviness in my head, like a blanket being unfolded over it. For me, this is a sign of a sadness coming on. The worst one I had was the early months of 2013. It took everything to wake up and get out of bed, let alone all the other morning duties that are endured before leaving for work, which was another whole mental game where I thought of every reason not to leave the house: Could I call in sick? Could I just not show up? The days were extremely difficult, and I am sure there are some reading who have experienced a depression so very much worse.
The one thing that I remember doing seemingly willingly was my morning prayer/devotion time with the Lord. It was the only thing that I can’t remember my body and mind fighting against. Perhaps because it was/is the only place, besides my bed and the state of slumber, where I could/can escape. My time with the Lord was/is the place where I can go and totally collapse and be vacant. He is the only one who knows me inside and out and what I am enduring. I didn’t have to put on a happy face or act my way through the day. My time with the Lord let my heart and mind rest. I think I cried through most of those mornings with a simple plea of hope for the day. I trusted that the Holy Spirit works through the Word, and I so clung to a couple pieces of Scripture, that I would repeat over and over. The above passage is one that gave me great hope; that in the darkest of dark times, God too is there. He will not leave me nor forsake me. There is no barrier that he cannot pass through. When I cannot lift myself out, he comes to me. When you cannot lift yourself out, he comes to you.
So many individuals who have never endured a time of depression may say, “Oh just cheer up!” or “What do you have to be sad about. You’re being selfish” and the list of comments can go on and on. This devotion is not one of those statements. It is not a self-help, snap-out-of-it advertisement. I pray it is encouragement to rest in the Lord. An opportunity to be reminded that God is with you, even in the deepest of terrors. A time to be encouraged to rest in hope and patience knowing he is carrying you, his precious beloved child. Despite what you are feeling you are so desperately loved by him. Rest in Him today and trust him to carry you through. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favour, and give you peace.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Help! You have created our minds to be precious things, and we must take time to care for our mental health. Our being is so connected and dependent upon all of your creation. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!! Be with all those individuals suffering from depression, whether seasonal, situational, or chronic. Give them your strength to endure this day and patience until this too has past. Guide their hearts and minds to you and give them peace. In Jesus’ precious name I pray! AMEN!
Reflection: As you go through your day, be mindful of those who may be struggling at this time of year. Pray for them.
Do you suffer from seasonal depression? These are things I learned to help combat SADDs… 1. Take it to the Lord. 2. Are you getting outside in the daylight on a regular basis? 3. Do you take vitamin D? 4. Have you talked to your family doctor or natural medicine professional? 5. Have you shared where you are at with a loved one? (If you suffer from Chronic mental illness, please see your doctor to receive the medications to help you live your life. Just as diabetes, or any other internal imbalance disease, sufferers don’t turn down medical assistance in taking insulin, neither should those suffering with a mental illness deny themselves the relief they can receive from the medical field.)