When I have a flare up of chronic illness, the temptation for me is to stay home in my baggy sweat clothes and just chill out. Sunday morning I woke up and barely had the energy to get out of bed. I was tempted to stay home, but then I thought of my friends who come to my Sunday morning group. So I forced myself to get going, drank a cup of coffee, got ready, and went to church.
I am SO GLAD I did. Due to living with chronic illness, depression and anxiety are issues for me. My pastor taught from Philippians 4 via Luke Luke 12. He started with a statement that blessed me so much. He said:
“Mental Illness is not spiritual weakness”
I am sharing the link to his message in this post. I highly recommend it for anyone who has anxiety or depression. The reason is because he does an excellent job of sharing truths such as- God is Eager to share his kingdom with us.
My morning began with a barely uttered prayer of-“I need you to carry me through this day Lord. My pain is bad and I have no energy.” That was all I could prayer. But then setting out to go to church was in itself a prayer of trusting the Lord.
My Sunday morning group we read about Gabriel visiting Mary and talked about Mary’s great faith to trust God to take care of her after she agreed to his plan.
Then I went to worship service. The music was uplifting. But when my pastor said, “Mental Illness is not spiritual weakness” the Lord ministered to me so much.
Sadly, there is stigma when it comes to depression and anxiety disorders. I will never forget offering to resign my ministry because I needed to start medication for depression and anxiety. I have lived with chronic illness for over 25 years and it has whittled away at me. When I offered to resign, I was told it is medical and I would not resign. That was a huge blessing.
But to hear my pastor say-“Mental Illness is not spiritual weakness” and teach about how much God loves us, it was an over the top blessing.
Jesus invited all who struggle in life to come to him. In Matthew 11 he said:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The reason Jesus gives for us to come to him is that he is gentle and humble of heart. He has all power. He created all of creation. Yet he doesn’t say come to me because of my power. He says come to me because I am gentle and humble of heart. So yes has has all power to help us, but he wants us to know he is gentle.
I love what is recorded in Isaiah 4 and repeated in Matthew 12:
” A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out”
That is in the midst of talking about the power of the Messiah-Jesus. Jesus will not break a bruised reed. He stops to heal it. Jesus’s desire is to heal us. He waits for us to come to him, so he can gently heal us.
The video is about 50 minutes, but if you struggle with anxiety, depression, worry, or anything, it is well worth the time. Just click on Message from my pastor below.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.