“If there’s one thing we can all do, it’s to avoid making our own experience the rule for others…” (Mental Health author, David Murray)
Overwhelming feelings of sadness. Hopelessness. Lack of motivation. Maybe even panic or anxiety attacks. We’ve all either been there ourselves or know someone close to us that battles depression and anxiety.
In his message Reframing the Modern Family: Mental Health, Pastor Richard looks at among the most pervasive issues in our society: mental health.
Two months ago, Pastor Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life and Pastor of Saddleback Church in California) lost his son to suicide. His son, Matthew, had been struggling for many years with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. His death touched off both a wave of sympathy for the Warren family and a national discussion on mental health and how the church can respond to this fast growing issue.
Regardless of the underlying causes, we have to recognize that there are many crying out for help. This includes many that sit in the pew each and every Sunday, struggling quietly. If we are to be a place of healing, then we as Christ followers cannot afford to be ignorant or afraid of this issue.
“By dealing openly and honestly with people’s hurts…encouraging medical treatment, spiritual guidance or psychological help, it allows us as a church community to be a people of grace for all.”
Pastor Richard then went on to recognize our counseling team at First McKinney, Dr. Harry Beverly, Jill Dillishaw and Ashley Abernathy, and asked them some pointed questions about depression and the barriers to people getting help. To view this portion of the sermon, click here.
Psalms 42-43 provide a scriptural basis for dealing with these issues and offers some practical counsel for those battling depression and anxiety:
1. Stay with it—even when you don’t feel like it. When you don’t feel like coming and worshipping God…come anyway. Sometimes you just have to keep walking. Keep trusting. Just keep going. Sometimes we have to combine a spiritual pursuit of God with medical help. The important thing is to not give up.
2. Remember the work of God in your life. It’s so easy to focus on all that’s wrong with your world…sometimes we have to remind ourselves what’s right and reflect on these things. Remember, you’re not alone and God is up to something.
Psalm 139:7-12 reminds us that despite what we might feel in the midst of the storm, God is still there.
Are YOU struggling with depression? Anxiety? Panic Attack? Or perhaps you wrestle with a different mental health issue. Know that God is still with you and He will never leave you or forsake you.