January, 2019 – Peace Yes, Peace

January, 2019 – Peace Yes, Peace

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.”  – Psalm 29.11

God’s plan for us – is peace.  At times, reality – is depression. Or fear. Confusion. Hopelessness. Guilt.  Non-clarity of thought.  Prolonged or severe emotional stress.  Uselessness or no purpose in life.  Physical illness, bringing on much of what has just been mentioned.  Add your own ‘opposite of peace’.  From time to time, I struggle with depression which can bring a plethora of those symptoms or feelings with it. I know that for every problem, there is a root problem.  Therein lies my problem.  I can never seem to figure out what the root is.

I think that being away from my loved ones exacerbates the problem of depression.  So does long-extended periods of rainy, dark days – and the long, dark days of winter.  I know that improper diet can also have an impact, getting overwhelmed with work, and the death of a loved one.  Happening all at once, these ‘causes’ can take a toll on one’s system.  Also, depression can be a physiological problem – the way our brain reacts to situations.  And for sure, it can be a spiritual problem.  So, where do we (I) begin the attack – to climb out of the pit – to combat the struggle with depression when I can’t even figure out it’s root?

Because I was never able to get help from a doctor, my M.O. over the years has been to attack the physical first.  I have learned that I need to eat a very ‘clean’ diet – no useless carbs, white sugar, or white flour.  At the same time, since this usually begins to occur as the days ‘shorten’, I up my Vitamin D intake a bit.  (Having my Vitamin D level tested, and which was pathetically low, I take the vitamin on a doctor’s recommendation.)  I’ll probably add a couple of other vitamins and minerals per order – and, step up the exercise-routine.  I don’t sit on that plan alone, however, waiting to see if it’s going to work, but I also take into consideration the fact that I may, also, be spiritually malnourished . . .

I still don’t know exactly what it is that gets my spirits spiraling downward, but it seems the more ‘down’ I feel, the less time I spend in the Word.  It actually seems to become a burden to me – one more thing to do . . .   And the less time I spend in the Word, the lower my spirits get.  And it takes me a bit to realize what a circuitous pattern I have gotten into.  I SO really don’t like the word ‘discipline’, but not wanting to live my life less than what God planned for me, I work my way back into more time spent alone with this One – my Creator, the Holder of my next heartbeat.  It’s kind of like physical exercise.  Although, I highly doubt spending a healthy amount of time in the Word could hurt, spiritually, like too much work-out activity right away could hurt, physically.

If attention to the physical and spiritual didn’t work for me, I would have no problem seeing the proper doctor for help, emotionally.  But over the years, I have learned that a combination of caring for my body and mind physically and spiritually, has seemed to work.  I fill my body with the healthiest of foods and make sure to get exercise.  But I also fill my heart and mind with all that the Lord has prepared for me to ingest from His Word.  I heard a pastor say last week that if you are a follower of Jesus, then listen to Him – follow His plan.  From cover to cover, the Bible has infinite instruction for us.  I absolutely love these words from Deuteronomy 13:3 and 4 – ‘love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  You shall follow the Lord Your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him’.

It’s during these times that I see my need more than ever to ‘cling’ to Him!  I’m so glad that those words were included in Scripture.  The Word is powerful, cleansing, and healing.  Because I fell into such a deep and hollow pit over one’s death at one time, after being in that dark, dark pit for days on end with seemingly no hope, I realized that if it were going to be God’s will for me to live, then I needed to do it better.  That I needed to find my joy in Him once more.  I shut myself in a room in my home, opened the Bible to where I was going to be next in my study of the Word – Philippians!  This was no coincidence.  It’s where God knew I needed to be.  The Epistle of Joy!  Still ‘knowing’ that it would take far more for me to climb out of my ‘hole’, I almost threateningly said to God, “I’m going to sit here reading this book until I feel ‘better’ if I have to stay here until I rot in this chair!”  (I don’t mince words – even with my Creator.)  Oh, the mercy, the grace, the long-suffering of our Almighty God . . . !   About the fourth time through the Epistle of Joy (Philippians) and several hours later, I noticed a glimmer – a very tiny glimmer of a smile in my heart.  It was enough to be encouraged!  I knew that the Word was my only hope – my only way back to a more healthy ‘normal’.  It didn’t happen overnight.  It took a while, but there was such a healing – from a hopeless, despairing heart to one that ultimately fed off the Epistle of Joy – and was delighted that the Lord let me live to serve Him ‘another day’.  I can’t remember of a time when the Lord has not used my ‘clinging’ to Him, and the power of the Word to lift my depression.  He IS all that there is!  Yes, there is peace – and its (His) name is ‘Jesus’ . . .


A most Blessed and Happy 2019 to you!  May you turn to JESUS in every ‘thing’!

 (Note:  I realize that the subject of depression can be far more complicated than anything I have written here.  But I didn’t set out to write a book, or a series of in-depth articles – I just wanted to share my own personal experience. When there is a clinically-induced problem with depression, by all means, please seek professional help.)