Blue Monday

David writes ...

This month included ‘Blue Monday’ (usually the 3rd Monday in January), which is reputed to be the ‘most depressing day of the year’.  I don’t know whether it’s really the most depressing day but it does raise the important issue of mental health, which is a big problem for many.

About one in four people are formally diagnosed with mental illness at some point in their lives, and many more suffer quietly without ever seeing a doctor.  Perhaps you or a loved one have been affected.  For some people, mental illness prompts big questions about whether God is real/good/powerful/why he allows suffering and so on.  The Bible itself contains lots of questions like these, and it also suggests some of the answers.

One of the amazing things about God is that he knows what’s going on in our minds as well as our bodies.  I remember my first MRI brain scan, looking deep inside my head, and having a strong sense of Psalm 139: “Search me and know me, see if there is any offensive way in me…”.  God knows what’s going on inside us and his love and power are stronger than whatever it might be.

One of the Bible characters afflicted by illness, which may have been mental or physical or both, was St Paul.  Despite his condition and some very tough experiences, he was able to write “I am convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus”.  (See Romans 8).   I hope that will be your experience too.