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Winter Blues

by Esther Griggs

There is a day coming in February known as “Blue Monday”. It is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. Shorter daylight hours and lack of sunshine are believed to be the reasons for this bleakness.

You and I both know that sad emotions are not stuck to a particular day or season. They come with difficult times and circumstances within which we find ourselves. They can come upon us unexpectedly. They come no matter who we are or where we live. Difficult times come and with them troublesome emotions. I believe that we can build an emotional safety raft that will sustain us during these overwhelming storms.

In Philippians 4, the writer Paul gives us some direction.

He tells us to rejoice. He says to rejoice always. Make it a habit. Find something to be happy about. Is the sun shining? Do you have friends? Do you have your vision? Make rejoicing your daily decision. ” Rejoice in the Lord always.”

“Let your gentleness be known to all men”, Be patient in your circumstances. Establish your hearts and don’t grumble against one another. Each season has a beginning and an end. Know the goodness of God, and bless your loved ones. Learn all you can from these times: who you are and who God is.

“Be anxious for nothing”, pray, ask for what you need in earnestness and with humility, do it with a thankful heart. Give God your requests and know that God hears and answers prayer. The great promise of God’s peace accompanies this directive. A peace unlike the world’s, a peace we cannot understand, a peace which will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

“Finally,” Paul says: ” Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.” There is great power in what we set our minds on; power that can give life to fear or anxiety, or empowerment to faith and courage.

Jesus tells us that in the world we will have trouble but to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. In our trouble He is the rock on which we stand, the anchor to our soul, a hiding place, our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. By establishing a safety raft by following Paul’s directives in Philippians 4, the power of the storm will be less daunting. So onward go, in grace and love, amidst the waves or calm, remember God is with you, an ever living balm.

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