Counsel, Depression, Grief, Pain, Words of Endurance
Save me, O God,
for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.
PSALM 69:1-2 PSALM OF DAVID (NLT)
Often times when we are experiencing painful affliction it can seem as though we are sinking deeper and deeper into the muck and mire. We can be so overwhelmed that we feel as though we are going to drown in the rising floodwaters of pain – physically, emotionally and Spiritually.
You have heard me say before that we are physical, emotional and spiritual beings. It is impossible for one part of our being to be in pain without impacting the other two. This is especially true when we experience a physical affliction. It is expected and normal for us to feel the pain physically that comes with the affliction but it is also normal and we should also expect to feel that pain emotionally and spiritually. When we begin to experience the unexpected emotional and spiritual pain – we are blindsided and that can be more than overwhelming.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms on a consistent basis – your emotional and spiritual health may be at risk.
- You feel out of touch with your emotions – the feelings of your heart – you feel numb.
- You feel out of touch with God – you can no longer sense His presence.
- You have feelings of hopelessness and despair.
- You have difficulty concentrating or finishing tasks.
- You experience inappropriate outbursts of irritability, anger and rage.
- You find yourself crying on a daily basis.
- You have withdrawn from activities that used to bring you pleasure. You no longer experience joy.
- Your sleeping and eating patterns are disrupted and/or changed.
- You entertain self-destructive thoughts or think about hurting others.
Just as there are professionals who deal with physical health, there are professionals who specialize in emotional and spiritual health. If items on the list above describe you – you may benefit by consulting such a professional. Dave and I both are so grateful for the Christian psychologists and pastors who helped and guided both us out of the muck and mire of our depressions that were a result of Dave’s battle with cancer.
There is no shame in seeking the counsel of Christian psychologists, counselors, therapists and your pastor because they are able to see and help us in ways that we cannot see or help ourselves.
The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters,
but a man of understanding draws them out.
And it is biblical and wise to seek the counsel of others.
Wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.
PROVERBS 13:10 (THE MESSAGE)
And don’t forget that as children of God we not only have the wise Spirit-led counsel of others but we also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that will guide us to all Truth.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever
— the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.
But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
And He promises …
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
On the journey with you,