Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 42:5 – Why are you depressed, O my soul? Why are you upset? Wait for God! For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention. (NET)
What was that old adage about turning lemons into lemonade? How easy that is to say. The problem is that when you are down, you don't want to get up!
Emotions run high and low. Some people have a legitimate reason for their sorrow, it is true, while others have a deficiency in their system, which requires medication to help with a lack of serotonin for their physical health. This is not always the case, however, and if we don't know how to deal with real or perceived rejections, we can run to lamentation and, possibly, wallow. I have been guilty of this at times.
Oh, you have tried bouncing up several times and blamed your circumstances on many things. However, the truth is that you are tired and don't want to make the effort again. Others can tell you how to fix your life, but the real secret is that you need to take another bite out of life yourself. In truth, you want to mourn, and to find an excuse to do nothing but lie in bed, sleep, or cry, lamenting your life. Does this ring true with anyone?
What does God think of this stance? Would He say that you are wasting time, perhaps? At first, you must take a long, hard look at your actions and your attitude and be sorry that you let yourself sink this far into the mud. The second-most-helpful thing you could do is to pray for help from heaven on this. Obviously, you are not getting better by yourself. Enlist the help of God. Ask the Lord to send a few good ideas your way.
If you are unhappy yourself, is there something that you could be doing to alleviate the pain of others? Could you offer to go shopping for the elderly, or read to those who can't read? Music cheers the heart, and listening to it on a regular basis or even providing it for others could be good. If you can sing, then why not bring that cheer to others? I bet there are many seniors who could benefit from a games night, playing cards together, and laughing over a simple lunch. It provides an afternoon or evening for them to look forward to.
If you are not talented in reading or music, then one of the best ways to relieve the suffering of others is to pray for them. Why not start a prayer team in your community. Get others engaged in this helpful activity. Soon, others will have a sense of purpose, too, and the benefits are most joyful.
Make a list of all the things that you can think of to help others, and then, pick one. Stick to it even when it is not convenient, and see how much difference you can make in someone else's life. After a little while, just take a peek at your own life, and see how it has changed. Are you feeling better? Good for you!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for pointing out to us that we do not live for ourselves alone. Help us to engage others in our lives, and to teach by example that as long as we live and breathe and have our being, we need to be conscious of the needs of one another. Didn't someone say, "No man is an island"? Therefore, help us to learn to help each other as we travel on our pilgrimage back to You. Amen.