To recap my first article about post-holiday depression (link here): It doesn’t matter if we’re single or married, going through a rough patch or living an uneventful life, we’re all vulnerable to the after Christmas blues that seep into our souls like a cold rain on a chill winter’s day. These blues can be a reminder that even the best earth has to offer will leave us wanting more. That even the most wonderful experiences are only a foretaste of what God has in store for His children.
But in the meantime, what are we to do when failure, monotony, boredom, pain, uncertainty, grief, despair, or depression color our days?
In the words of famed statesman Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.”
Why? Why should we keep going on?
Because “[Satan’s] cause is never more in jeopardy than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do [God’s] will, looks round upon a universe in which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” ~C. S. Lewis~
Can you think of some folks who looked out on such a universe? From the Bible—Joseph, any of the Hebrews in Egypt, including Jochebed, (Moses’ mother), Job, Naomi, Daniel, Mary, Jesus. From history—Corrie ten Boom, Darlene Deibler Rose, Elisabeth Elliott, Joni Eareckson Tada . . . and those are just the first names that popped into my head!
Imagine God looking out at a world in shadow, a world plagued by shallowness, corruption, and many other evils. And in the midst of the darkness, He sees your light shining—in spite of difficult or boring or downright painful days. Imagine how He feels when we say with our actions, “Though the wait is wearying and the darkness hides You and joy seems like a distant memory, I will still love you, Lord.”
And just as spring always follows even the bleakest winter, we can be assured that, eventually, our feelings will catch up with our actions.
I’m drawn to the stories where the hero woos the heroine and refuses to give up. When he pushes past her fears, doubts, prickliness, fickleness, stubbornness, and whatever else she throws in his way, to love her and win her love. Love that “bears all things” is the love God shares with us. How it must delight Him when we are able to direct a tiny portion of that love back to Him.
So, friends, though Satan and the world try to sever our grip, we must cling to our Savior.
How? Here are a few ideas . . .
- Get help. Find a counselor, accountability group, or fellowship group.
- Start something new. Begin a challenge or project that intrigues you.
- Be inspired. Join a Bible study. Read a missionary biography. Tape inspirational verses and quotes around your house or work space. (You can find a great online study at this link.)
- Reach out. Serving others will fill up your heart.
- Take every thought captive to Christ.
- Pray without ceasing.
- Give thanks.
- Get a good night’s sleep and wake with the knowledge that you are not alone!
Who has some words of wisdom, advice, or encouragement to share? We’d love to hear from you!