When cadets return to West Point in January, they enter what is called the gloom period. The buildings are gray, the skies are dreary and a feeling of “I wish I could just take a long, extended nap” settles upon the Corps. I lived through four years of that gloom period. Imagine my surprise when I moved to San Diego and discovered that June was called the same thing! The ever-present sun gave way to incessant fog and a chilly air. What were we thinking when we moved to western Oregon, a place famous for what can often be eight months of drizzle and fog?
Last month we had to put to sleep Bear, the best dog I ever owned in my life. Weekly we receive reports of friends who have lost their jobs. Bryan, my oldest son, has spent almost a year trying to find work. Yesterday, Circuit City, a major electronics retailer announced it was closing all 567 of its stores' merchandise and laying off over 30,000 employees. Today, my dad emailed me that he is going back to work to make money to pay bills. My mom finds herself increasingly wracked by physical ailments. I wonder how many other 76 year-olds are in the same boat. My African and Indian friends weather outbreaks of senseless and tragic violence. Global warming has nothing on global gloom.
Psalm 107:13,14—Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and gloom and broke their chains apart.
Do you know what the formula for overcoming gloom is? The Bible gives us our solution. It consists of at least four components and you may know of some more.
1. Admit going through trouble. The key to escaping gloom is to first recognize it exists. Pretending that everything is fine when it isn’t is a sure recipe for breakdown. It is dishonest to act like gray is green. It is phony to be optimistically cheery when your clothes are on fire.
2. Cry out to the Lord. Asking the Lord for help is a key admittance that we can’t solve everything. It gives God glory by noting His power and He as our Champion, delights when we put our trust in Him. Crying out to God also takes our eyes off the problem and shifts them to the Problem Solver.
3. Praise the Lord. Try being gloomy and praising God at the same time. It doesn’t work. It’s like riding a roller coaster and muttering “what a drag” or winning the lottery yet complaining about the weeds in the yard. Praising God changes our attitude and helps us reclaim joy ground.
4. Wait for His deliverance. Gloom doesn’t always vanish in a night; it may linger for a season depending on the severity of our murk. But if we cry out to God and praise Him, we WILL see victory. He guarantees it. He is our chain-breaking, dimness-brightening, life-replenishing, hope-making King. The sooner we get that through the haze in our heads the faster our hearts will rejoice. And that’ssomething to think about . . . in reveration!
There are only two religions that accept gloom as a fact (I mean by gloom, sin, anguish and misery, the things that make people feel that life is not worth living), Buddhism and Christianity. Every other religion ignores it.—Oswald Chambers in Workman of God
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)