Psalm 39:3 “My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,”
One of the things that I love about where I live is the distinct change in the seasons. From the buds that form on the trees to the flowers pushing up in the spring; to the warmth, sunshine and activities of the summer. To the changing of the leaves and then the briskness and the beauty of that first snowfall of winter. Now, I will be honest; as this body has become more chronologically gifted, the cold of winter, shoveling the snow and weather hampered traffic challenges me. But I am truly an optimist. But I wasn’t always.
When I was younger, unsaved and living single, situations and circumstances came into my life, I would ride the waves or travel the valleys they would take me through. I would embrace the emotions that came with the journey. But all too soon I found that my emotions were what was ruling me, guiding me albeit – defining me. Poor decisions on my part led to financial and relationship challenges that tore my heart apart. Depression came and took residence. My energy level ebbed, my social life declined and my music just held me chained to emotions that caused me to feel I had no hope. I abused alcohol because I had grow to use it as my comfort, my escape from having to deal with my problems; only to find that my problems were still there when I sobered – only worse.
There was a decision I made after spending some time (and lots of money) on the couch of a psychologist for depression, that I didn’t want to be depressed any longer. I saw that my music only fed my emotions of loneliness and had no hope or joy. I saw that there were no friends to snap me out of my funky moods. I returned to the church of my parents and found youth there who could resonate with how I was feeling, where I was going and in that atmosphere, I found a bit of hope.
Those days before I was saved became significant for many reasons. One, I can identify with those who are held in the bondage of depression. Two, I associate with those addicted to drugs and alcohol as their comfort – only to find it’s bondage as well. And lastly, because when I came to Christ, I found the hope that I was searching for, a peace that permeated my soul and friends that have stuck closer than a brother. I found that only Christ has the power to break the chains of any addiction (not disease). They call it a disease because they recognize they don’t have the cure. As a saved, Bible believing Christian, I have the cure!
It is a known fact that more people are melancholy through the winter season. The loss of loved ones, the pressures of financial expectations in gift-giving and relying on happiness instead of joy to sustain us will be a mix for depression and disappointment. When we can recognize the seasons of our own heart, we can prepare to meet them with scripture. Ask yourself – Is my music in this season, drawing me closer to the celebration of the birth of Christ or feeding the feelings that bring sad memories? Are the activities and people I visit pointing to a hope in Christ or pressure to perform and deliver?
If we look at the verse…’My heart… musing…fire burned’ We often mistake the Bible’s reference of ‘heart’ to that beating organ that associates to emotion, when in fact, God knows the heart, or center of our being, is our mind. If we can capture our mind for Christ, we can sway the rest.
Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: …”
Jeremiah the prophet said in Lamentations 3:51
“Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”
What we see affects our heart. If you find yourself stuck in a season of depression, hurt, anger, loneliness or grief; reach out first to the One who knows exactly what you need to restore the hope and peace you so desire.
We will all have times where our feelings get the best of us. But coming back to a place of hope is guided by the sweet Spirit of God – if we ask Him. If you know what to expect the next time you hear ‘that’ song, or see ‘that’ person that draws you into a certain feeling you just control, decide a course of action that will protect your heart from diving deep and avoid the chains that hold you until spring.
Live in the Psalms, memorize a verse that draws you to rejoice in your salvation and the birth of Christ. You will find that when your heart (mind) embraces the true, the right and the good; you feelings will follow.