I hate January. I really do. There’s not one January on record that I recall enjoying myself. It’s possible I do it to myself. As the hoopla of Christmas comes to a close. I’m usually the first to put away all the trappings of the holiday. Instead of savoring the moment of the quiet aftermath, I panic because I’m left with nothing to look forward to until maybe my birthday in August.
It happens every January. Along comes January and I get discouraged and depressed. Of course, I have reason to be a little off balance: It’s rained for almost 40 days and nights and my convertible top leaks. I’ve spent most of my paycheck but there’s 10 days before I get paid again. I didn’t attend the diet class I signed up for. I’m having hot flashes. I’ve got a pimple – how can I have a pimple and hot flashes? We’ve got a new computer system at work.
OK, so none of those reasons are very spectacular, but you’d be surprised how worked up I can get over just one of them. Add them together and I have permission for a nervous breakdown – don’t I?
No, in fact, I don’t. There’s too much at stake. Each time I allow myself to wallow, I find I’m not alone. When I’m in the mud, I look over and right next to me is the devil even muddier than I am telling me this is just where I belong and commiserating up a storm – and he’s so good at it. I should know, I’ve spent enough time in the pig pen with him. By the time I’m finished wallowing, he’s convinced me that all of the above things are terminal and on top of that, that I deserve every one of them and more.
I Need a Miracle
For as long as I can remember, I’ve reacted negatively to the winter doldrums. It will take a miracle for me to feel any differently and that’s exactly what I’ve been promised – a miracle. We’ve been told that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are. Since one of my greatest temptations is depression, then it must be the same for Him. When He died on the cross, He died for me and, in actuality, AS me. “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!” (Hebrews 4:15, CEV).
In the Garden of Gethsemane I imagine Him suffering depression and questioning His worth as an appropriate sacrifice. I think He was lonely, too. I think He was hurt and disappointed that His best friends didn’t love Him enough to sit up the night with Him. For me to accept Jesus’ death on the cross as me, I must believe He understands what I’m going through because he felt it all and He found a way to overcome. And Isaiah 53:4 bears that out: “But the fact is, it was our pains he carried– our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.” (The Message)
Earthly friends try to tell me, “I know exactly how you feel.” It’s a nice thought and I love them for trying to understand, but there’s only one person who really knows how I feel and He’s promised He will never leave me or forsake me. That’s some friend.