Living in the deep South, winter tends to be milder than in the Midwest where I grew up, and spring arrives gloriously earlier. And so it has happened this past week. A few days of rain, and--poof!--spring arrived. Trees are in full flower, lawns need immediate attention from myriad green sprouts, and there is a dense, yellow-green coating over everything (pine pollen...welcome to the south).
One of the beautiful things about spring occurred to me last week as I passed a window: Spring is warmer than winter.
Some of you got there ahead of me, but hear me out. As I approached a window last week, I noticed the sun shining invitingly through. However, in the South, it does that pretty much all year long. What I noticed as I reached the window was that there was now more than light coming through the window; there was also heat.
Now, the sun's rays bring a true promise, not a false one, of warmth. Though it is not yet warm enough for my badly-thinned blood, it is certainly warmer than it has been, and I am grateful.
And it occurred to me that this comparison is the perfect metaphor for depression. Some of you know that I experienced a clinical depression many years ago (I described it here), and that memory still shapes me in so many ways. I remember distinctly that I could not sense the good and reasonable things in my life during that time. It was as if I could see the light, but I couldn't' feel it. True, good things just couldn't reach my soul, and so I lived on in a hopeless, cold place, so very alone.
If you haven't experienced a depression like this--and may you never!--please allow me to say that that cold hole is not one you can just crawl out of. If you know me, you know I'm not really given to negativism or pessimism. But when I found myself in that place, I.could.not.get.out. I sensed that the world around me wasn't as cold and lifeless as I felt it was, but no amount of trying could make me feel that blessed heat.
Only God could pull me out of that pit and shine His warm and glorious face on mine once again. And He did. May my lips never cease to praise Him and remember how the truth of the Son warmed my soul!
I'm so glad it's spring again in my heart. In fact, it might just be summer now.
Warm from His light,
I love the LORD, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned his ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!" The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me. -Psalm 116:1-6, NIV
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment? -Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, NIV