It’s January, a month commonly known for depression and suicide, according to an December 2015 article on wwwstatnews.com by Sharon Begley.
It’s also been my experience as a caregiver. Depression hits hard this time of year. There are medical and physical reasons for this.
(I was reminding a young friend of this today as she goes to visit her sister with postpartum depression. Medical and physical reasons, dear. It’s not a sin issue, so deal gently.)
Once we get to mid March, the mood lightens. Spring is on its way.
You and I need our weapons of warfare prepped for battle right now. It’s stinkin’ tough to not get sucked into the negative mire.
1) Pray what Jesus taught His disciples, known as the Lord’s Prayer.
“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I noticed a similar prayer in Isaiah 64.1 “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down….” Is. 64
Job prayed this prayer, too, and God spoke to him directly!
Father, please come!
Please work do your kingdom work right now in my family.
Please deliver us from all the evil that illness inflicts.
Lead us not into any temptation to sin.
Provide for our physical and emotional needs.
Bring Yourself glory through our fragile lives.
2) Prayer of confession: talk to God about any known sins. Sin weighs one down.
6 But we all are as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousness is as filthy rags;
and we all fade as a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 There is no one who calls on Your name,
who stirs up himself to take hold of You;
for You have hidden Your face from us
and have consumed us because of our iniquities.
Sound familiar? Remind you of Romans 3:23?
Remember the promises of Psalm 51, a prayer of confession of King David.
Then look at 1 John 1:9. Faithful, amazing forgiveness through our Faithful Jesus!
3) Pray the following prayer of surrender. Even the pain and suffering is part of His plan.
“8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
and we all are the work of Your hand.
9 Do not be wrathful beyond measure, O Lord,
nor remember iniquity forever;
look upon us, we pray,
we all are Your people.” Isaiah 64: 8-9
The chronically ill and disabled, the seeming lepers of society, are still part of His handiwork and kingdom.
Though original sin in the Garden of Eden created the DNA flaws, The Master Potter knows and cares about each vessel in all our unique flaws and sin issues. ( Not saying the DNA issues are sin. They are not. How we respond to them is a matter of good or evil.)
Ask for His presence to be known to you. “LOOK upon us, we pray, we are ALL Your people.”
Anyone who comes to the Father through Jesus Christ in faith and repentance can pray this prayer.
“The Lord takes pleasure in those that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:11
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in HOPE through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13
While I would rather skip right over winter, maybe I would not appreciate the faith, hope, and courage God grants to my spouse and I to fight through it.
Hope these prayers help keep you and I on track and encouraged. Pray on, dear sisters! Maybe this will be our favorite winter yet.
I read through the little book of Zephaniah today.(We’re snowed in.)
Have you ever read the minor prophets? It’s not for the faint of heart. Unlike the positivity thinking so prevalent in today’s American churches, these books do not gloss over the negative. Zephaniah is a short, one-two punch. Judgement is coming. God’s people and the church leaders (ch. 3:4) are among the guilty. Brace yourself.
The contrasts in God’s declarations are so vivid, it makes one reel with the truths revealed.
One example: “I will utterly consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the land, says the LORD.” Zeph. 1:2-3
The contrast: ” Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be he shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zeph. 2:3
Maybe, like me, you struggle to deal with the changes that chronic illness brings. Just when you thought you may have one phase mastered, a new twist hits. The meds change, diagnosis shifts, the doctor scenario changes –a lot hinges on a good doctor — and your life is turned upside down yet again.
Chaos, war, judgment, destruction! Where is the hope in this? Keep reading!
“The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring His judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zeph. 3:5
The just LORD does not sin. He is in the middle of our lives, working in ways we cannot fathom.
One evidence of His true work in our lives is the same fruit He gives those who trusted Him in Zephaniah’s prophecy: ” The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, none shall make them afraid. ” Zephaniah 3:13
Safety, food, and rest! These most basic needs based on truth and trust are being met by God Himself for His children.
In the hands of their enemies, safety, food, and rest were never certain.
Now read these words of amazing comfort given to God’s people at end of this book of woes.
“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;
He will save,
He will rejoice over thee with joy;
He will rest in his love,
He will joy over thee with singing… (3:17)
…Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee:
and I will save her that halteth,
and gather her that was driven out…” (3:19)
The end of your story and mine isn’t here and now. Keep reading.
Like me, you may seen a lot of heartbreak and misery unfold.
For Israel, war and captivity magnified misery.
Chronic pain and illness twists the knife in our daily living.
Relief is coming. It’s already paid for in full. ” HE has made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Your life may feel like a just another tale of human woe, but those that trust in the LORD will never be disappointed in the end!
Anyone want to just skip now to the end of the story? I know. Me, too. I can’t wait to read the end of your grace-filled story, either. Let’s pray for that ending where we glorify God and enjoy Him forever, together.
Now may the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus,
This should be the theme verse for my blog.
Perseverance and encouragement.
That’s the bottom line for surviving and even thriving with chronic illness in the house.
The road seems long. The path is full of hairpin curves. You feel like you’re driving on a mountain road on a rainy, foggy night. (Did that one night. It was as bad as the ice storm I drove through once. White-knuckles all the way!)
No one, not even the doctors, has all the answers. In our case, they seem to find more questions than answers. How can so many things be wrong with one body!?
Only the God, whose hands made and fashioned you (Ps. 139), can know the depths of uncertainty and fear as you face each new challenge.
Fear. It has to be cast at His feet. It will cripple your soul. So many times God tells us, do not be afraid.
Fighting that battle right there with you, sisters. I’ve cried some downright ugly tears this year.
When you’re so broken you have NO idea what to do next, you make a choice. I’ve pulled out Romans 8:28, the Psalms, yes, ALL of God’s Word, and said, okay. I believe.
What next, God?
The surrender of trust fills your heart with faith and encouragement. Faith to find the mercies in each new day, faith to persevere and say, yes, God is good. Satan is bad. Don’t get the two mixed up.
In the end, Love wins. Eternal, persistent love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for His adopted children will not fail. HIS kingdom come, His will be done.
Along the way, let’s find that harmony and hope with each other. Let’s persist in love and encouragement.
I’m planning to keep blogging here for that one reason. One ray of light, one encouraging word, one candle for Jesus — that’s all I can do. Shalom in Jesus, sisters, for 2017! So drop me a line now and then. What bugs you? How can I encourage you?