Today's Devotional Thought
July 18, 2012 by Wendy Foreman
A few months ago I had a sweet sister in Christ come to me battling depression. I wanted to encourage her in the Lord so I searched out scripture and found today's verse:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
You never know what someone is struggling with. So many of us walk around with smiles on our faces, but deep down our hearts are breaking. We are full of fear and want to cry out for help, but the fear of what will people think is what holds us back from ever telling anyone that we are hurting.
The sad part is I think that even in the church we are caught in the trap of wanting everyone to think we have it together. You know, the perfect life, the perfect kids and spouse, the perfect relationship with the Lord.
Isn't the church supposed to be a place full of grace, full of mercy?
Isn't it the one place we should be able to go and be transparent?
It's the place where we should be able to get encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Christ and not gasps and "Wow should you really be doing this or that in the church since you are battling with that?"
My heart hurts because I know this happens and I know that many will walk out of our church doors and never look back because they felt judged and rejected, not encouraged and loved.
Many in our churches are battling depression. They are battling real pain and hurt and my prayer is that we will be the church. That we will love, extend grace, encourage, pray for them and lay them at the feet of Jesus.
There is an old hymn that goes something like this: "They'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they'll know we are Christians by our love."
Love them. That is what we are supposed to do.