I don’t know if you’re like me, but I get a little down at this time of year. The trees are getting empty. The temperatures are getting colder. And then there’s the time change…it’s dark by the time I get home. Yes, I deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For many, these seasonal changes can bring about depression, lethargy, fatigue, and other problems.
Forms of depression or sadness don’t just occur in the fall or when there is less sunlight. Some of these feelings can come about in our everyday life. We can feel sadness when a friend or co-worker says an unkind word to us. Or when you’ve prayed and prayed for something good to happen in your life (like a promotion or a new job or a home purchase), and then your best friend buys a new home with their new job and promotion. And it doesn’t happen to you. You want to be happy for them, but it still hurts. And you ask, “Why can’t it happen to me?”
We can especially feel down when we become tired and weary. Get a bit down, add exhaustion, and it’s then very easy to stumble.
That’s the bad news. The good news is when we’re feeling low, the Lord will help us to soar. He can lift us up.
Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Here is a word of caution. Guard yourself against looking to the wrong things to lift you up, things like self-help books or audio tape series. Those things are not bad in and of themselves for many areas of our lives. The answer to renewed hope and strength is to get into the habit of looking first to God and His Word for direction in how we should live.
David understood times of feeling down. In fact, in his writings, he was very open to when he felt despair and fear. But each time David was down, he sought the Lord. David said in Psalm 62:5-8: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Typically, we get into trouble when we focus on our circumstances, and on what is or isn’t happening in our lives. It’s too easy to feel down. What each of us needs to learn is what David knew…we need to go the One who will lift us up. It’s God, and God alone, who will help us find our rest.