SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Giving the Gift of Hope
An old dis-ease is on the rise! Its name is depression - a close cousin of anxiety - and it's afflicting an ever-increasing number of people. Covid-19 is certainly a significant part of this disease's diet but there are many other causes too.
In 1835 a man visited a doctor in Florence. He was filled with anxiety and exhausted from lack of sleep. He couldn't eat and avoided his friends. The doctor determined that he was in prime physical condition, but concluded that his patient needed more exposure to the company of people who would cheer him up. So the doctor told him about a circus in town - and its star performer, a clown named Grimaldi. "You must go and see him," the doctor advised. "Grimaldi is the world's funniest clown. He'll make you laugh and cure your sadness."
"No," replied the despairing man. "He can't help me. You see, I am Grimaldi!"
Fortunately, this issue of mental health is receiving much more publicity today, and there are organizations and programmes that really help those struggling with their mental health issues. Beyond Blue is one such organization - widely known and respected for its effective work.
Raising funds to enable that work to continue is always a challenge. So Janine and I have t registered to participate in a B-B Car Rally beginning in late November over the back-roads of the Snowy Mountains. As part of this, we've committed to raising a minimum of $1,500 for Beyond Blue. To this end, we're hosting a garden-party at 4564 Big River Way, Tyndale on 7 November with morning tea, a raffle and classic cars and bikes on display. We're also selling raffle tickets until the start date - with 15 great prizes donated by local businesses. So keep an eye open for us - and our white Classic Range Rover with the Beyond Blue logo on each side.
Of course, no single solution will 'fix' the disease many face in life. But it's worth considering how Jesus always managed to put his finger on the concerns that preoccupied people.
Case in point: One day he addressed the pressing issue of poverty. He noted that people were worrying about where their next meal was coming from. So he gently reminded them that their heavenly Father will always provide - that they don't need to be anxious about food, drink or clothing because God knows and responds to the needs of his people. Living as children of God and concentrating on spiritual things guarantees that God will be there for them every step of the way, to meet their every need.
Now, our natural skepticism may encourage us to dismiss this promise as pure fantasy. However, my own testimony, and the testimony of countless others, affirms this truth. God never lets his people down - a realization that will strike a fatal blow to the negative ingredients of life.
Hope and trust are powerful antidotes to anxiety and worry. The promises of God through his son, Jesus, have always stood the test of time.
We would do well to remember that our mental health stems from the equilibrium between the physical and the spiritual - that this is the key to a fulfilling and purpose-filled life.