Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries
Today’s guest post is by Tom Whitesel, pastor and host of the 24Today podcast. You can read and listen to more of his work at 24Today.org.
I was at a Convenience Store, standing in line, waiting to pay for gas. As a part of the “convenience experience”, a Hershey candy bar (with almonds) was beautifully displayed and easily within my reach.
I find these bars amazing. For starters, it is amazing when the maker of the candy bar actually takes the time to print their name on the bar. That’s amazing! This very fact alone, says that a Hershey’s bar deserves some consideration. And I have considered plenty of them over the years.
As I studied this work of art, I said to myself, “I haven’t had one of those for a long, long time. You know what would taste good right about now? A Hershey candy bar with almonds!”
I have a wonderful friend inside of me. His name is “Will”.
Will reminded me that if I make the decision to fully consider a Hershey candy bar (with almonds)... I also will add 210 calories and 26g’s of carbs to my body.
Will is smart that way.
Will can also be strategic.
Will convinced me to re-focus my eyes on the Beef Jerky (also conveniently placed on the counter). I’m not a fan of Beef Jerky, so I could look at that stuff all day long and not be tempted.
Before I new it, I had paid for my gasoline and was back in my car. And the Hershey bar (with almonds)remained conveniently in the store.
Will had won!
Last week was a rough week. For a reason unknown to me, my old foe (DEPRESSION) came calling.
For the first four days, I did what I do by nature. I relied on Will to get me out of it.
Will wasn’t strong enough on Monday or on Tuesday. Will lost on Wednesday and Thursday also.
On Friday morning, God taught me three truths about Will:
- Will can be smart.
- Will can be strategic.
- Will isn’t very strong.
So [still on Friday morning] I desperately began to plead to God for help. I said, “Father, I don’t have it in me to be able to defeat DEPRESSION today. I have tried every day this week. but I have lost each time. I am COMPLETELY helpless. I surrender this battle to You. I’m asking You to defeat DEPRESSION today.”
I followed that prayer with continuing my YouVersion Bible App daily reading. Miraculously, in about 10 minutes, the depression fog began to lift.
Next, I strategically asked God to replace DEPRESSION with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-25):
- Self Control
Will was back at work, doing some strategic thinking.
But the POWER came from Jesus.
Now, four days later, I continue to be out of the fog of depression. And I am still pleading every day with Jesus. “Just get me through this 24 hour period,” I say.
And He has. One day at a time!
I still like Will and need his help. But Jesus is where strength comes from.
You also have things in your life which Will can’t get you through.
Is it fear? Is it doubt? Is it loneliness?
If you are like me, you have more than one.
- Will can’t give you power.
- Surrender the battle to Jesus.
- Until you get to the level in which you actually plead to Jesus for help, you might not really want it bad enough. You might be asking Jesus to help Will. But, it has to be the OTHER WAY AROUND. It’s Jesus first. Then Will can help Jesus.
- Will has no power.
- Jesus has the power
***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
From Nancy: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.