Feeling Gloomy? Breaking the spiral.

Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. (Psalm 55 v22)

It was shortly after Christmas a few years back, and I was feeling a little low.  I wrote the following:

“I remember writing before being a Christian that I didn’t feel like a sinner – but somehow now I feel more and more like one! I’m moody and irritable,  I’m gloomy, and when I’m despondent it’s hard for me to cheer up.  I selfishly want someone else to cheer me up for me – and I tend to sulk.  Then I realise this and think ‘well I’m not very nice am I!  I don’t deserve God’s love’  and then I get depressed – and I think, ‘I shouldn’t be depressed, God’s forgiven my sins’ and that makes it worse – because I haven’t!  and then I feel guilty about it – wallowing in self-pity!  Pathetic isn’t it.

And then I think, ‘this is all I  I  I  – what about other people.  Pull yourself together, and cheer yourself up’.  And then I think, ‘well isn’t this what God is meant to do?  Well my faith can’t be very good because I’m still miserable’,  and then I think ‘why do I have to keep thinking about these things – why can’t I just accept his love and let that be that.’

And how can I accept God’s love if I don’t do anything for him in return.  So I have to relearn that I don’t win God’s love through works – but through grace …..  and I’m back up a couple of paragraphs!”

I felt a bit better when my wife couldn’t stop laughing as she read this.  And then I prayed and ‘cast my burden on the Lord’.  I asked for His help.

And what happened?  Suddenly I found this conversation going on in my head – I was raising the points above, and instantly I’d get a reply! Something like

Me – “How can I accept your love?”

Reply – “Don’t be so stupid – you know I love you unconditionally”

Me – “But what do I do to deserve it?”

Reply – “Nothing – just accept it”

And so on for a little while, and then

Me – “is this me replying to myself or God talking to me”

Reply – “what do you think?”

Me – “but couldn’t I just have a little proof”

 And suddenly I felt a very brief but extremely powerful emotion – I can’t really describe it.  But suddenly I felt peaceful again.  And I know again that God’s there ready to pull me up out of the next trough.

 Thank you Lord for being so patient and so loving.

About Minimalist Christian

Phil Hemsley is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. He works for a multinational company in the power industry, has presented technical papers at international conferences and holds many patents. He has published two books, the most recent is "The Big Picture, an Honest Examination of God Science and Purpose". He has lived on both sides of the faith fence. He is married, with two daughters.
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2 Responses to Feeling Gloomy? Breaking the spiral.

  1. schildan10 says:

    “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:8-9)


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