The Morning Sonshine

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (2) He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (3) He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Psalm 40:1-3 NRSV
NOTE: I’m addressing a couple of difficult but
important matters in the next two issues of Joyful News.
This month’s “Just A Thought …” addresses depression,
while next month’s article will focus on addiction.

Regarding depression, I start with this caveat: I certainly don’t intend to provide any quick and easy answers in this article, as depression is a very complex issue with no short and simple cures. Instead, what I want to do is to encourage anyone who is suffering from depression to do three things:
1) Seek medical help.
2) Seek prayer support.
3) Seek healing from Jesus Christ.

I’ve been blessed for having not suffered from bouts of major depression throughout my life. However, I have experienced times of melancholy or “the blues” occasionally and bouts of minor depression very infrequently. Whenever I do, it often takes me by surprise; and my first response is to ignore it or convince myself that it isn’t real.

The sobering fact concerning depression is I am not immune to it, and neither are you. No one is! Depression can strike anyone at any time regardless of gender, race, age, education, religion, profession, etc. Also, no one can talk themselves out of being depressed; and no one should be fooled into thinking they can be cured on their own.

I feel the best way to deal with depression is to take quick and decisive action. Seek professional medical treatment, whether physical, psychological, or a combination of both, as there is excellent help available in both areas today. Seek prayer support from Christian family members, friends, pastors, and spiritual leaders you trust. And seek healing from Jesus, who is the Lord of Light. Remember, God works miracles of healing in countless ways – not just supernaturally but also medically and psychologically, as well as through the work of professionals, the prayers of the faithful, and the love and support of others.

Whenever I have a close encounter with “the blues” or mild depression my thoughts turn to the opening verses of Psalm 40, with their wonderful assurances of healing and hope in the presence of great suffering. So, if you suffer from depression, I encourage you to keep these verses close at hand and recite them often. No doubt, they will quickly become another important tool for you in your battle with depression.

Also, the image of Jesus as the Lord of Light is important to me when dealing with depression, because, for me, depression is like a shadowy figure lurking in the dark, eagerly waiting to assault me without warning. And the best way I know how to fight the shadowy figure of depression is by letting the healing light of the Lord saturate my body, mind, and soul.

This is why I chose to share the image of the morning sunshine (taken in 2020 during our Easter Sunrise Service), which chases away the dark shadows of night. I’m certain if you let the sunshine of a new dawn bathe your body and the Sonshine of the Lord of Light saturate your soul, it will help you deal with your shadowy figure of depression.

Finally, I close with these words from a song titled “While I Wait” by Lincoln Brewster that I pray will bring you a measure of healing and hope as you take quick and decisive action to treat your bouts of depression:

I live by faith, and not by sight
Sometimes miracles take time

While I wait, I will worship
Lord, I’ll worship Your name
While I wait, I will trust You
Lord, I’ll trust you all the same

When I fall apart, You are my strength
Help me not forget
Seeing every scar, You make me whole
You’re my healer

I live by faith, and not by sight
Sometimes miracles hide

You’re faithful every day
Your promises remain
You’re faithful every day
Your promises

Just a thought …
Pastor Paul