"I waited for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." -- Psalm 40:1-3
The past several months have been ones of intense struggle for me. At times, I have wanted to crawl under the covers and just sleep. Sometimes I have. But other times, even while tempted to wallow in self-pity, God has been gracious to remind me of the many blessings he has poured into my life -- blessings that are cause for worship! Even the most stalwart Christians I know are not immune from the troubles of this world. Some of us handle our challenges better than others, but we all can find reasons at the end of the day to thank our Maker for his gracious gifts to us.
God has shown me, particularly in the past couple of weeks, just how dangerous it is to seclude ourselves from the fellowship of our church family because we think that somehow scaling back will give us more time and energy to find a solution to our problems and figure out what God is trying to teach us. Granted, it is good to spend quiet time alone with God each day and to seek his heart and mind on the matters that bewilder us. But, there is an inherent danger in severing our ties with others by limiting the areas of service that bring us great joy and place us in the path of people who encourage and build us up. The only thing I have really accomplished in the past several months is to subject myself to the ravages of anger and depression. The circumstances I had hoped would change as a result of being home more and less involved at church, haven't really changed much. And somewhere along the way I have lost my joy because I have given up the fellowship of believers and the pleasure of corporate worship through my involvement in music ministry.
No man is an island. We all need each other, more now than ever before. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety and find yourself in a pit of self-pity, get out of the pit and back in the choir (that is, if you ever sang in the choir)! Take the focus off you and your problems and re-focus on the Lord by reaching out to others in service and fellowship. Why wallow when you can worship?