Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. (John 4:31-34)
Read: Joshua 22:1 – 24:33
Relate: What is your cause? What do you live for? What gets you excited? For a moment please come with me back to the beginning of November a few years ago. I am going to change a name and a little bit about the situation, but in truth, I remember meeting with a student who was really having a hard time. He was going through one of those messy relationship break ups that most high school students have at least once or twice. At the same time he had been in a fight with one of his “good friends” at school and now he was looking at being ostracized from his clique. Things were rough. First world problems, I know, but knowing that doesn’t make those problems any easier to deal with in the moment.
Anyways, around this time of year a number of the youth groups in the Syracuse area do a 24 hour famine (translation: fasting) to raise money for a missions program called Speed the Light. Not only do we get together and not eat and hear a message and pray but we also have opportunities in the middle of the day to do some practical acts of service. Imagine now this high school student who is already depressed. Now we are making him hungry and “forcing him” to rake leaves… HE LOVED IT! This one day excursion didn’t just help him feel better for a short while. it changed him. Yes, he went back the following Monday to all the same problems but his outlook had done a complete turnaround.
React: I firmly believe that if you want to get out of depression, start caring for something greater than yourself. If you want to stop being so angry all the time, find and embrace and live out a cause that is worth your everything. If you’re hungry, don’t just eat… share a meal. Now there are some times that there might be a chemical imbalance and real, prescribed medication is necessary, but not most of the time. We treat medicine like modern day witchcraft. We combine natural substances in the hope of a supernatural result. Most of the time, as in 99% of the time at least, the best way to treat depression is to get the depressed to stop thinking about themselves so much. Jesus had a nourishment that went far beyond food. it was no big deal for him to skip a meal or two here or there. He was living for the greatest of causes. That cause was the reconciliation of us to God. He got so far behind this cause He would gladly lay down His life for it. When he watched that Samaritan woman run off and waited for the town to start running up, He was seeing that cause bear fruit.
So I ask again… What cause do you live for? Do you even have one or have you not yet truly started to live?
God, my cause is You. My cause is to bring freedom to those enslaved. It doesn’t matter if that entrapment is physical, emotional, social, or spiritual. I want to see freedom. Help me to rip away those things in my life that would only serve as distractions from this end. Help me to be more wise in my spending and saving so that I might be more generous with my giving. Help me to live for You. Help me to see and bring Your freedom everywhere I go and with everything I write.