December 14, 2016

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Advent Devotional | No Comments

Wednesday,  December 14, 2016
Psalm 42; Zechariah 8:1-17; Matthew 8: 14-17, 28-34
By Juliann Swanson

Having recently attended a workshop where stories of living with depression were shared, I couldn’t help but hear their struggle in Psalm 42.  The verse expresses an overwhelming experience of lament; an inability to believe that relief is possible, calling out to God while questioning where he is.

Zechariah brings prophetic words to the Israelites upon their return to Jerusalem, to encourage them to choose hope and to anticipate blessing when they do not yet know it is possible. Matthew brings witness to Jesus’ recognition of the demons within the demoniacs, freeing the person of them. In healing Peter’s mother in-law Jesus did not turn away. No matter what our personal struggles, challenges, thirst, depletion, illness or isolation it may be helpful to hear in scripture that God is aware of our condition and does not want to leave us alone in the midst of our troubles.

If you ever find yourself with depression or the blues, I pray that as tears come you can cry out to God, and sense a glimpse of hope. If you find yourself accompanying someone within the struggle of depression, you may be able to hold hope for them. Cindy Meirink B.S., M.A., the speaker at the workshop, shared ways to be supportive: listen to their experience and perspective, offer acceptance, connection and respect. As they journey toward a recovery of wellness, we can walk along side them seeking God’s help and the promise of hope.

“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:11b NIV

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