How to Get Up When You're Down
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
At this time of year, a lot is heading downward.
Leaves are falling. Temperatures are dipping. And with the time change, the sun is setting a little earlier. For many, these changes can bring about depression, lethargy, fatigue and other problems. In its most serious form, it adds up to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
But symptoms such as these don’t occur just in the fall or only at times when there is less sunlight. In their lesser form, these feelings can come about quite easily in day-to-day living.
Like when an unkind word from a co-worker crushes your spirit and sets the rest of the work day into a tailspin. Should you be surprised? Or when your best friend is the one who is getting married or having a baby or got a promotion. And you got … nothing.
Or perhaps you’ve said yes to organizing and leading every church committee, every parent-organized school event, the community Bible study and your neighborhood’s monthly block party. Your mind is mush, your body is shutting down and you don't have much left to give.
See what I mean? We can quickly sink to the depths of despair in our spirits, lose the joy of our salvation or become quickly fatigued in taking care of everything and everyone else and not ourselves. We’re tired and weary, stumbling and falling. And … we’re human, after all.
But thankfully, when we are feeling weighed down, the Lord will help us to soar. He is the one who raises us up—not any 12-step plan or self-help book or 10-week audio tape series. Now these are worthy aids, and God can work through systems and processes designed by men. But we must look to Him and His Word first for direction on how we should live.
David was a man who understood this. Many passages in the book of Psalms read like his personal diary of sorts and record the times when he felt down and sought the Lord.
He had it right when he said in Psalm 62:5-8:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
When we focus on our circumstances and what is or isn’t happening in our lives, we will feel down. Like David, we need to go to the One who will lift us up and spend time with him. It is in God alone that we will rise above and find our rest.
A little homework …
What is bringing you down? Is the Lord asking you to make a change in your life? How about in your attitude or perspective? Or is it time to simplify your schedule? Does he want you to spend more time seeking after him? Take some time today for quiet reflection as you seek God’s direction.