By Patrick Hawthorne
It is yet another quiet Saturday morning, just after sun up. Shaking the sleep from my eyes, I slip out of bed, careful not to wake my wife, even though I figure she is awake anyway. Try as I might, I have never been successful in conquering the transition from bed to outside the bedroom without waking her, especially not when followed by a not so light footed half Chihuahua, half weenie dog, named Odie. Most call this breed a Chi-Weenie. I prefer, however, to call him a Weenie-Huahua.
Closing the bedroom door behind me, still trying to remain quiet, I mutter under my breath, “Good morning Father. Good morning Jesus. Good morning Holy Spirit.” I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something is missing this morning…I just don’t feel altogether there.
Opening the front door, little Odie and I walk outside for his morning constitutional. The morning is clear and beautiful. The first signs of autumn are felt as the crisp forty-eight degree weather hits my bald head. Brrrrr! Wrapping my house coat around me, I dutifully walk down the steps of my front porch trailing behind Odie. I should be happy; yet sadness is washing over me.
“Lord,” I pray as I watch Odie delicately maneuver the dew covered grass in search of that perfect spot, “I thank You for this day and for Your abundance. Why do I feel so distant from You? Lord, it is as if my faith has suddenly gone phhbtttt.”
Now, I know some of you might consider blowing a raspberry unto the Lord very irreverent, but I talk with the Lord as if I’m talking with my best friend. I normally do not go to the Lord first thing in the morning with a problem, but this morning there was no use in pretending that I was happy when I was anything but. “What is going on, Lord?”
Suddenly, within my spirit, the answer hit me. It was as if the Lord spoke directly to me and said, “It is that time again…depression is sneaking up on you.”
“Oh wow,” I thought. The signs were all around me, yet I had almost missed them. Each year, whenever the weather begins to change, a change comes over me; as always it kind-a sneaks up on me. You would think that, after all these years with dealing with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), I would have recognized the onset. Yet, here it was at my backdoor once again. This time, however, it was stopped dead in its tracks because the Lord warned me of its imminent attack.
I make light of SAD because it is nothing that has to get anyone down…no pun intended. I make light of SAD because, now that I know my enemy, I can fight it off with little to no effort. “How,” you may be asking? It’s easy. I bring the Word of God into the fight.
For example, my favorite weapon is found in Acts 26. When the imprisoned Paul was hauled before King Agrippa he made a profound statement. In verse 2, He said, “I think myself happy…” Although SAD has nothing to do with Paul’s predicament, I take ownership of his attitude and begin to speak myself happy. “I’m a happy man, O’ King Jesus.”
Suddenly, the blues begin to take flight. New joy springs forth within my heart and I get my praise on. “Thank you Lord for loving me so much that You would take the time to show me the one thing that would turn my sorrow into joy.”
You don’t have to let depression get you down. Look to the One who is able to turn your sorrow into joy and your mourning into dancing. Be blessed.