‘Tis the season for depression, anxiety, and general discouragement. I try not to give it much credence, except to acknowledge it, and carry on. To do otherwise leads me deeper into the dark cave of self, where the bats live. The medical term for the resulting condition is, “She’s gone batty”.
I’m especially vulnerable this time of year as everything gets multiplied: busyness, social connections (I mean, c’mon-a person can only take so much of even the nicest people); expectations, loss, expenditures, and the five extra helpings of mashed potatoes with gravy. Additionally, discouragement often follows a spiritual “win” (See Elijah below).
Often the practical cure for my common cold of heart is to rest, eat light, and serve someone.
Sometimes, though, I need to feel depressed or anxious because something’s amiss -which is a palatable way of saying, “Excuse me, Ma’am, your sin is showing”. Whatever the cause, trusting implicitly in Emmanuel, literally, “God with us” (that’s you and me), carries me gently into the wide open fields where I once again, “run in the paths of His commands.”
Here are some passages to meditate on: Psalm 23, 1 Kings 19, Psalm 91
I’ve highlighted some here:
“He makes me lie down…”
“He restores my soul”
And 1 Kings 19- the story of Elijah, to remind us that after a spiritual victory, depression is not uncommon, and the answer is often very practical:
“He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you may seek refuge.