I’ve spoken to so many friends about what the quarantine season has meant for them and we’ve all said the same thing about loving the slower pace and the extra family time we’ve had.
I’ve loved watching my kids ride bikes and enjoy the outdoors in a whole new way. We’ve had dinner as a family more than we’ve ever had, we’ve watched movies and talked. We’ve had a great time just being together.
But the truth is that my quarantine life does not look like yours as yours doesn’t look like anyone else’s. We are seeing more and more people lose their jobs, businesses are slowing down and we keep hearing the “r” word in the news. Recession.
I have to admit I struggled yesterday. The news of a small business owner who took her own life hit me hard. If you know my story, then you know that I battled depression, anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts for years. And y’all, most people didn’t know. They had no idea because I kept it hidden. I pretended to be okay. I went about my days forcing myself to be normal but I was literally crumbling inside. And I don’t say all this to be doom and gloom but to open our eyes to a reality. The reality that yes we are all trying to find the silver lining and trying to enjoy the simple life, as we should. But y’all. There are people who simply cannot find that silver lining right now. Not because they are a horrible person, but because they are literally suffering on the inside. They are numb. Numb to it all. And yes, we know Jesus and we know the power that is in His name, but when you are suffering with a mental illness you can not even wrap your mind around that thought.
So today, I want to pray for you. And I want to truly pray that whatever you are struggling with this minute that Jesus will send you someone to help you through it. Because we all ask people to reach out, to ask for help, but guess what? When you are living a literal hell in your mind, you are not able to ask for help. You simply can’t. So today if you are suffering from depression or anxiety or panic attacks, I pray that the Lord will place it upon someone to reach out to you. That the Lord will awaken your mind and place a desire to keep on living. This life we are living is crazy and I know that it is making many of us fear the future, but I pray that God will place the desire to fight for your life and that He will restore your faith in who He is. And if you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, I pray that this will turn your heart towards Him to know Him in a personal way.
I’ve been so burdened by this. I don’t know what I can do to help you, but I know that there is power in prayer to Jesus and I have to trust in that. Even when I can not trust. Even when I can’t fathom it. I have to trust. And when my trust and faith seem to be gone, I must ask God to help me believe. And that is what I pray you do too. If you are struggling with your faith. If you are questioning this life and questioning who God is and can not wrap your mind around what is going on, I pray that you cry out to God to help you believe.
In Mark 9:14-29 a man is pleading for his son who seems to be possessed by a demon. In verse 21 Jesus asks him,
“How long has this been happening to him?” “From childhood,” he said. “And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Then Jesus said to him, “‘If You can’? Everything is possible to the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”
Do you know what happened next? Jesus healed the boy. But when the disciples asked Him privately in verses 28-29 why they couldn’t themselves help the boy, Jesus answered in verse 29,
“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [and fasting].”
Jesus healed the boy because the boy’s father cried out to Jesus. Even in his unbelief he asked Jesus to help Him. We must do the same and pray for those around us that are being thrown to the fire and are being destroyed inside by this horrible illness.
So today I want us to pray for those who are suffering silently. Maybe it’s with depression or anxiety or just plain out fear and doubt. Whatever it is you are going through today, we pray for you. We pray that the Almighty God show Himself to you right now.
And to those that are wondering how you can help. I pray that right now God place someone on your heart to reach out to. We tell people to reach out, speak out, but they are not going to. We must go to them. And how? By a text, a phone call, facetime, facebook messenger, zoom! Anything! We must reach out to our friends and our people! We can not leave them alone. They need someone today more than ever.
So as we finish up this week, I want us to dedicate the next two days to ask God to reveal people to us that need a word from us. And when He reveals them to you, reach out to them. We can save lives this way. I truly believe it.
Dear Heavenly Father, reveal yourself to us. Lord Jesus we love you and we ask that you will help our unbelief during this time. Help us not lose sight of you. Strengthen the ones who are weak. Be with those who are being consumed by their depression, anxiety, fear and doubt. Lord give them a reason to keep fighting, please. This is serious Lord and I pray that you will protect their minds. Protect their hearts. Please Lord. And to those of us who are wondering how we can help, I pray that you will place people on our heart that we can reach out to. Help us come together and love them and be with them through all of this. I pray that this will bring people closer to you and that those that do not know you will come to know you through all of this. We love you Jesus and we thank you for never leaving us.
Who are you reaching out to today? Who can you send a handwritten card to or text? Who can you deliver a meal to? Or who can you simply call?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4