Tuesday December 11th: 3 Tevet

For all of those who live in the northern hemisphere, winter is upon us – a time of dead leaves and gloomy weather. Not surprisingly, during this time of year many people struggle with depression. Perhaps its because of the stark landscape and sunless skies or just the overall environment that winter creates. Whatever it is, winter has a legitimately negative effect upon people, demonstrating that our surroundings definitely impact our emotions.

Now let’s take a look at the non-meteorological environment that surrounds us. One doesn’t have to read too many headlines or watch too many newscasts to be overcome with all the bad news that breaks each and every day. If we focus too long on too much of this bad news, we might find that, like winter, it takes its toll on our emotional well-being. Filling our minds with a steady diet of bad news can be, and usually is, quite depressing. What are we to do?

The answer to the question might be found in the words of a hit song from the late 1950s. The song in question satirized the fact that, in those days, many popular tunes were about sad events, lost loves and people who had died. One part in the lyrics even refers to “the fellow with the switchblade knife.” The song drew attention to all of the bad news and sadness put to music in  other records in order to emphasize another message: “Let’s sing about living. Let’s sing about life.” The point was, if you want to look for bad news and tragedy, it’s not very hard to find. But who wants to talk about that all the time? Let’s talk about things that are more inspiring and encouraging; let’s talk about life. That is exactly what God’s people need to be focused on – living life with the knowledge that God cares for us.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:25-27)

These words were spoken within the context of people worrying about what they were to eat and what they’re going to wear. Today, the worries may be focused more on healthcare, immigration, black helicopters and other conspiracy theories but the principle remains the same. Why are we so worried about that might happen tomorrow; there is plenty to be concerned with today. However, believers are to place their trust in our heavenly Father today, tomorrow, and every day. Instead of obsessing over what is happening all around us and what might happen, tomorrow, let’s focus on the goodness of our Creator. Let’s celebrate His lovingkindness, His mercy and His ability to deliver us from every peril. As the Psalmist wrote:

“They wander up and down for food and howl if they are not satisfied. But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my defense, my God of mercy.” (Psalmist 59:15-17)

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