Isaiah 55:8 – "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. (NIV)
It was a cold and rainy winter afternoon as I left work, and headed across the parking lot to my car. All I could think about was what a "bummer" of a day it had been, how bad I felt, and how nice it would be to get home. Then I remembered. I was supposed to stop by the nursing home to visit a friend.
My instinctive reaction was to get in the car, forget about her, and go straight home. Then a thought surfaced: "When you are 'down-and-out' do something for another. It will turn your thoughts around."
"Well, I'll try it," I said to myself. "After all, it has probably been a bad day at the nursing home, too."
2 Corinthians 1:4-5 – Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (NIV)
When I got to her room, she was lying on her bed, gazing out the window, watching the raindrops fall. A tear, as big as a raindrop, slid silently down her face.
"Good evening," I said. "It's a dreary day, isn't it?"
"You don't know how dreary unless you were here," she said. "This kind of weather makes me depressed, and I have more aches than normal."
She and I talked for a few minutes, and soon she was smiling. Her face reminded me of the sky after the rain has passed. Then I thought of my feelings. In trying to lift her feelings, I found that my bad mood had disappeared. I had been reluctant to come, but that was exactly what I had needed to do.
Reaching out to others in love can solve many of our problems. The next time we are depressed, we need to remember to reach out to someone more depressed than we are. Lifting others up can bring a smile, not only to their face, but to ours as well.
Prayer: Lord, help us to think of others when we are depressed. May we remember that Your ways are not our ways. If we allow Your love to flow through us to others, we will be healed also. Use us, Lord, as You see the need. Amen.