A Letter from God
A few years ago, I experienced a difficult pastoral issue with someone that involved a lot of pain and distress. To help my recovery, I visited a café for coffee so that I could pause before I moved on to the next thing. I felt drained and it must have shown as someone said as they passed by ‘Don’t worry it may never happen.’ Such comments seldom help.
One of the expectations of people is that Christians (especially those wearing dog collars) should not feel down or sad. After all, you believe in God don’t you! This type of expectation and thinking can lead many Christians to think, ‘I’m not supposed to feel like this.’
Feeling low, depressed and anxious is common. Even among Christians. Part of anxiety and depression is a tendency to judge things in extreme and unhelpful ways that distort how we see ourselves, God, people we know and the events that occur to us. These extreme ways of seeing things are often learned early on in our lives and such unhelpful thinking tends to worsen when we feel anxious or depressed. Unhelpful thinking often becomes worse when we face difficult situations, relationship or practical problems, particularly when we think that we are trapped and overwhelmed.
Part of the answer to overcoming unhelpful ways of seeing ourselves is to look again at how God see us. If God were to write you a letter telling you how he sees you it might go something like this:
Dear…..I have called you by name, you are mine.
You are precious in my sight,
and I love you.
If we have, as Christians, thoughts that we are bad, worthless or failures, this condemnation never comes from God. At such times, we can draw on God’s love and grace to find a path through such times.
Keep God’s letter close by and read it often.