Singing the Blues by Louisa Guzman
Fall has arrived. The air is becoming crisp, affording better sleep at night now that the monotonous hum of fans and air conditioners is gone. The leaves are changing colors, gifting us with a gorgeous autumn rainbow of orange, yellow, red and brown.
But with the fall and the soon to arrive winter, comes shorter visits from the sun each day. The skies take on a deeper hue of blue
and sadly for many of us, that darkness brings on different shades of blue: the winter blues.
These various shades of winter blues are often known by different names: SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder, the Dark Drabs, the Winter Willies, and the word many Christians think of as taboo - Depression.
Sadly, depression is a topic that isn't often spoken of in Christian circles because the belief that God is everything we need is interpreted incorrectly. Yes, He is all we need, but that doesn't mean that life will not have dark days. How many times was David engulfed by sadness and despair? Reading Psalms 6:2-3, I can identify with David's desperation when he cries to the Lord, "Have mercy on me Lord, for I am faint, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish".
It isn’t easy to appreciate the long, dark, cold winter when we’re in the middle of a harsh season in our life. But in my case, sadness doesn't come from something that happened or anything I did or didnt do. Like the changing seasons, it just comes. What gets me through it some days is knowing that Jesus also experienced sadness and darkness, but He overcame it by looking to God for help. Psalm 121:2 is a reminder, that "my help comes from the Lord".
I remind myself that just as God uses the winter to prepare the earth for the beauty that lies ahead in Spring, God may be using this dark season in my life for growth, depth, and new life for tomorrow. I imagine the snow melting and revealing sweet,
new, colorful life...
And so, on those days when I feel like, "my splendor is gone...and I remember my affliction...and my soul is downcast within me...this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness!" [Lamentations 3:18-23]
And while I'm waiting for the sun and warmth to return, both inside and out, I REST, both physically and in Him.
If you suffer from sadness or depression, remember that God says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you REST."
R—Relationships. Surround yourself with loving, caring Christians. Have them pray for you and encourage you.
E—Exercise. Even if it's just a walk around the block. It will relieve some stress.
S—Scripture. Turn to the Bible to find comfort and answers. Allow God to speak to you through His Word.
T—Trust. Place yourself in God’s hands. Trust Him to help you overcome sadness and depression.
In the great words of sweet little Orphan Annie, "the sun will come out tomorrow!"