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Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 00:29

Bridge Over Troubled Water

"When you're weary, feeling small—when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all—I’m on your side, when times get rough—and friends just can't be found—like a bridge over troubled water—I will lay me down.”

“Mental Health America (MHA) today released data . . . showing that the number of people reporting signs of anxiety and depression since the start of the pandemic hit an all-time high in September. The new data accompanies the release of the annual State of Mental Health in America report, showing that nationwide, 19% (47.1 million) of people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition, a 1.5 million increase over last year’s report” (www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/10/20/2111263/0/en/Number-of-people-reporting-anxiety-and-depression-nationwide-since-start-of-pandemic-hit-all-time-high-in-September-hitting-young-people-hardest.html).

Welcome to our world.

“Gen-Z adults, those ages 18 to 23, reported the highest levels of stress compared to other generations and were the most likely age group to report symptoms of depression, according to the APA’s 2020 Stress in America survey. More than seven in 10 Gen-Z adults surveyed said they experienced common symptoms of depression in the prior two weeks, such as: feeling so tired they sat around and did nothing, having trouble thinking and concentrating and feeling very restless, lonely, miserable or unhappy” (www.cnbc.com/2020/10/21/survey-more-than-7-in-10-gen-zers-report-depression-during-pandemic.html).

Welcome to our campus.

“Fear and anxiety [as a result of the pandemic] tend to run hand-in-hand, Kevin Antshel, clinical psychologist and director of the clinical psychology program at Syracuse University previously told CNBC Make It. ‘'The more things are uncertain, the more we’re going to fear, and the more we fear things, the more we are anxious,’ he said. And prolonged anxiety can lead to depression” (ibid).
Maybe it’s your world, too.

I came across a single line in my psalm for the day that in its own way seems to breathe some hope into the shadows of this Covid-19 thing that won’t leave. “The day is Yours, and Yours also the night” (Psalm 74:16). I get the part about God ruling the day—makes sense to me. But I need the part about Him ruling the night. Because it is in the night the darkness inside is most oppressive. That’s when I need Him most. So do you.

Does He show up in the dark? Keep reading. “. . . when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ's love and under His protecting care” (Ministry of Healing 250).

How? Here are a few simple ways you can deal with the darkness right now:

  1. Be willing to be vulnerable and tell someone else about the darkness—you’re not alone, you’ll discover—and you'll be surprised the kind of comfort and strength their active listening will bring you. People who care for you are glad to be there for you.
  2. Try something new—look back to a time you remember before the darkness came—because looking back reminds us there was a season not so long ago when we lived with peace and a sense of quiet joy. Gifts like those do come back, I promise.
  3. Open up your heart to Jesus through someone else’s language. David (of David and Goliath fame) knew more about depressive darkness than perhaps any other Bible writer. So read one of his psalms every day—and turn his words of sorrow or anger or despair into your own prayer for help. You’ll be surprised at how much Jesus (the Son of David) responds to the familiar language of darkness. He, too, has been there.

"When you're weary, feeling small—when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all—I’m on your side, when times get rough—and friends just can't be found—like a bridge over troubled water—I will lay me down.”
This is why Jesus is the one Bridge you and I have that can span this pandemic night and cross us over into the light of a new day. Because as the psalmist reminds us, He owns them both:  “The day is Yours, and Yours also the night.”