I woke up the other morning in a depressed mood. There was no real reason to feel depressed, I just did. I tried running it off (literally) while listening to a good sermon. I even spent a good amount of time in the Word and prayer. I knew I shouldn’t be feeling this way. But I just couldn’t shake it.
So after muttering to my kids and being grumpy to my wife (for which I later asked her forgiveness) I headed off to my office, with little motivation to do anything. There in front of me was a pile of birthday and anniversary cards that I write to the seniors in our congregation. It really was the last thing I felt like doing. But like Elizabeth Elliott said, when you’re not feeling motivated to do anything, do the next thing. So I followed her advice and got to work.
When I work on these cards, I don’t just write “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” and sign my name. I think about the person (or couple); I think about what they are going through or what they have just been through, and I think about what great truth of God may encourage them and help them lift their eyes from this present world to the glorious one that is to come (I have included a sample below for your interest).
You can already guess what happened. The truth I was writing to them began to change me. I started thinking about my new life in Christ, of the miracle of my salvation, of the wonderful privilege it was for me to be part of the family of God and the glorious future that awaits me in the future. How could I, in light of these things, possibly feel depressed?
Within the hour I was a different person. That’s what gospel truth does – it has the power to transform the human heart (and feelings) on the spot. It raises hopes, engenders faith, frees the spirit, and renews the mind.
So next time you’re feeling down or feeling sorry for yourself or just plain out-of-sorts, pick up a pen and write something encouraging to someone. Season your sentences with gospel truth, remind them of their eternal hope and finish up with something from the Word of God.
You’ll be amazed what the Lord can do with it.
Happy 80th Birthday!
What a heroic effort, to arrive at this age still fighting fit and willing to help and serve the way you do – though I’m sure you’re aware that it isn’t because of your strength or clever devising, but because of God’s keeping and sustaining power in your life.
You have been born not once, but twice in order to experience this keeping power, and this has given you a place in God’s family and a future in God’s eternal home, where for all eternity you will get to enjoy the pleasures of God’s presence and fellowship with all his people.
We have so much to look forward to don’t we?
Have a great birthday ……………………
“For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds” (Ps. 57:10)