“Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Psalm 42:11

Can you relate to this? This morning I woke with a very heavy feeling in my heart and I just can’t shake it off. I keep asking  myself these questions: what did I do or say that would make me feel this guilt, if that’s what it is, or am I depressed, or is the Lord angry at me? It is to the point where crying could happen at any moment. Maybe you have felt the same way some days, perhaps even today.

As I sit here replaying and reevaluating my actions in the last 24 hours, nothing concrete comes to mind. Maybe its just the gloomy weather? Whatever it is, its hard to lift my head up and smile.

The next possibility is considering what the evil one might be up to. He is always busy trying to influence us as believers in a negative way with doubt, anger, frustration, and taking our focus away from the Lord, taking away our joy.

This consideration leads me to remember that God is never changing. He is constant. His emotions don’t rule Him, but His love does. Right now, realizing that our Redeemer remains true, is relentless and devoted to us gives me strength to look up and say, “Thank you Jesus!” That alone should cause a smile!

The bee in today’s photo is hanging on for dear life to that fence. Even as I touched it, it didn’t fly away. Fear or something else overcame it, causing it to cling so tightly and not want to let go.

What is the remedy? For me, it physically and mentally helps when I go for a walk, especially a hike at the mountain. Exercise mixed with fresh air does wonders for your soul. It changes your perspective, and takes you back to the basics of life. For the bee, with was more coaxing from me, it was encouragement that got it to fly away.

Another remedy is to take the focus off of ourselves. We need to see others and their needs, then act on it by praying for them, daily if need be. When we turn our downward eyes away from ourselves and look outward toward others, we have to actually look up to see them. Their world then becomes more personal to us and important to us than our own. That is what serving and loving others is about. So now, its time for me to go and focus on others and their needs. I already feel better!

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction; out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”
Psalm 40:1-3

If you are feeling down or depressed today, my prayer for you is this:
“Heavenly Father, thank you for my friend. You know them so well, including their thoughts and their heart. If there is sin in their life that needs to be resolved, point that out to them, and then please, be merciful and forgive them. If they are down and depressed, I ask that you give them your joy and that it make them full to overflowing! Share with them your heart of compassion as we know that Jesus experienced these same heavy emotions too. Help them to see that they are not defined by depression, but by your love for them. Help them to surrender their struggle to you completely, and know that You’ve got it in your capable hands, and will shape them through this moment. Encourage them to stand up and face the amazing day that you have blessed them with.  Thank you for being the stable one in our life, the one that we can depend on in every circumstance. We trust you with our lives, as you gave yours for us. Thank you for being so gracious to us every day with freedoms, children, our homes, our church family, our healthy bodies, and time. You are truly an amazing, great and personal God.
May your name be praised through our lives today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Let’s choose to see our day through the lens of God’s eye: that it is gift, that He is in control, that others need our love, and that we are His children. His tender mercies toward us, His grace for us and His Spirit within us are more than enough reasons to lift up our heads and say, “Thank you Lord for today! This is the day that you have made, I will be glad and rejoice in it!”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by you brotherhood throughout the world.”
1 Peter 5:7-9

Food for thought: Do you experience depression? Do you know someone that does? How do you help yourself or them through it? Please feel free to share in comments section. It might help someone else struggling with it.

Facts: Many creative individuals experienced depression, including Ludwig van Beethoven, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemmingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Clinging Bee