Today is World Mental Health Day. Unfortunately there is still stigma attached to mental health issues. Somehow it is forgotten that the brain is an organ that is part of our physical bodies.
We don’t say to a diabetic they are weak because they need insulin or to someone with asthma they don’t really need that inhaler.
As Christians, we are exhorted to bear one another’s burdens in Galatians 6. Depression and anxiety are burdens. Bi-Polar is a burden. God wants us to come alongside people who suffer to be supportive not judgemental.
As someone who has experienced depression/anxiety as symptoms of chronic illness, I understand how interconnected our bodies are. When one part of our bodies suffer, it can affect other parts of our bodies. Think about something as simple as lack of sleep for a few days and how it can affect one’s mood and it would only seem logical that physical ailments can contribute to mental health issues.
Jesus understands anguish. The night before he was crucified, he knew what was about to happen. He spent time praying and asked his disciples to be with him. We see in Matthew 26 Jesus saying:
“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
In Luke 22 we see how much the anguish affected him:
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
So if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, please know that Jesus understands anguish and he invites you 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.”
The reason he gave is that he is gentle and humble of heart. Jesus has all power and yet he is gentle with those who seek him.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.