"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
Last week was a rough week for me. Which was odd, actually, because I had been really looking forward to the week. We started school, and it simply wasn't the picture-perfect event that I'd been expecting. Then we had some other issues creep up, and truly, by Friday I just wanted to crawl into a hole and not come out until it was a new week. I was in such a bad mood. And while things were not going terribly well, it wasn't awful, and I really couldn't pinpoint the real reason I was in such a foul mood. I was also very, very tired. Nothing was helping shake this feeling all day, every day, that all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed.
And then yesterday came. The Sunday morning service just totally lifted that mood right off me. Worship started, and it was as though I'd been hooked up to an IV, I could feel the healing flow through me and wash away the yucky week I'd had. That gave me the opportunity to really think about where that awful mood had come from, and what caused it. I immediately assessed my diet, sleep habits, and anything else I could think of. I stalled for a while as I thought about the fact that yesterday was mine and Andy's 12th wedding anniversary. We don't do anything to celebrate, but we at least recognize the fact that another year has accumulated in our time together, and we laugh about this and that over the years. I wondered if maybe my bad mood last week was the devils way of trying to mess with our wedding anniversary. I really thought about this for a while before I concluded that it just wasn't it. Why would the devil work so hard to mess with something that isn't really that super important to us?
And then I thought about the other thing that Sunday commemorates. On top of being our wedding anniversary, it is also an important day for our country, as we remember the day the terrorists tried to break our nation in two and caused the loss of thousands of lives. That I thought upon further, and it was as if the light bulb went on. THAT was the reason for my bad mood that seemed to increase as the week went on last week.
The thing is, it wasn't just me who was having a bad week. It seemed like everyone I talked to was having a foul week- and everyone was tired as well. It didn't help at all that, for most people, it was also the beginning of the school year, so it was like a double whammy. As I thought on this more and more, I really think that last week was a product of the atmosphere. As I grow more in more in the understandings in the Bible, I'm becoming more and more sensitive to what is going on around me, and I believe that our whole community was bathed in a depression last week as we led up to the 9/11 anniversary. It could be much of the country was feeling the same way. As the day went on yesterday, I felt my spirit get lighter and lighter, most likely as the threat of some kind of repeat diminished, and people all over breathed a collective sigh of relief.
But what to do about this the next time it happens? I would like to think that I could recognize those feelings again were they to happen again. I'm simply not a depressed person- ever- for any reason, and last week was so tough! Well, I went to my Bible, of course, to see if it held any secrets to defeating this spirit, and I found it in 1 Samuel, chapter 16.
"But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is
a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it
with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you
shall be well.”
17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”
18 Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.”
19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21 So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. 22 Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him." 1 Samuel 16:14-23
Worship is key. Worship, and rejoicing, as I shared in the very first verse up above. What I should have done this week, when I was feeling overwhelmed and yucky, was to cue up a great worship song or two, and just spend some time soaking in the Lord's goodness. I didn't do that. In fact, when it came to time to listen to a few songs that were to be practiced over the weekend, I didn't even feel like listening to them. It was just that crazy of a week.
But now I know. The next time I feel that awful feeling, I WILL be better prepared. I will know how to chase it away, and I will dance before the Lord, full of joy and gladness, and I will NOT allow that yuckiness to come into my home again. And I would hope that as I work to keep the joy in our home, and repel the sadness, that it would spread from our home like a bubble, and that the joy would be felt in our neighborhood and community.
May we be a light to others in dark times. May they see the light clearly, and want to know how they too, can have this wonderful light in their lives.