Rejoice always, pray continuously and in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for Christ. 1 Thess 5:16-18

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”, so goes the folk wisdom. Only in my case, what I’m preaching to my gander, I need to follow myself.

My beloved is depressed due to a job he can’t stand and much uncertainty surrounding it.  He feels stuck because he needs to endure 3 more years in this job to qualify for a small pension from the government.  His body reacts with physical symptoms due to his dark gray feelings. His body’s response deepens his depression.  It feels like a vicious circle.

I spend time searching scripture to encourage him with God’s word.  Verses like:

  • Ascribe to the Lord power and strength  (i.e. don’t build up the circumstances and make them seem insurmountable)  (Ps 68:34)
  • But as for me, I will look to the Lord and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me! (Micah 7:7)
  • Though the fig tree does not blossom….. (my version – though life is REALLY HARD right now)….yet will I rejoice in the Lord.  (Hab 3: 17….19)
  • As a man thinks in his heart, so he becomes (Prov 23:7)
  • I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me (Phil 4:19)
  • I pray that the eyes of Mike’s heart may be enlightened in order that he may know …….. his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead. (Eph 1: 18-19)

But when my husband doesn’t respond to my encouragement, I can fall into feeling down too!

But wait a second!  I’m being two-faced then.  Who am I to succumb to my feelings?  If I am called to be my husband’s Ezer, his companion to help him, then God has equipped me.   I don’t have to battle his depression on my own!  I don’t have to let it bring me down.

If I’m encouraging Mike to change his self-talk, then I need to listen to my own advice.  I need to talk to myself, tell myself Truth from God’s word and not listen to my feelings which are based on incomplete knowledge.  I need to rejoice that God has given me the power to encourage Mike.  Paraphrasing Paul in 1 Cor. 15 “I worked hard…yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me!”  When I feel weak like I can’t summon up any more encouragement for Mike, I MUST tell myself the truth. I don’t have to succumb to discouragement.   Yes there is trouble in life, but Christ is with me to fight on.  I might not sense that I have the resources or energy to be an encouragement tonight, but I CAN trust God that He will provide manna for the evening, not now, but IN THE MOMENT.  “As is my day, so too is the STRENGTH, the REST and the SECURITY that God provides” (Deut 33:25) I can count on Him to provide manna in the moment.

Putting on my belt of truth and lifting up my shield of faith in Christ to ward off the fears and doubts with which the enemy so delights in barraging me.