Melancholy: "depression of spirits", as defined by webster. We've all been there, just feeling blue or maybe drowning in deep thoughts. I often get this feeling after some long awaited and loved company has left, sort of the anti-climax of energy when we've misplaced our hope. Having something to look forward to, planning for the future, waiting in excited anticipation for the next fun event propells us through life. But when those long awaited events pass, what are we left with and what can it teach us? I'm coming to realize that the lump in the back of my throat that forms, the longing my soul experiences is so much more than I previously thought. Before, I attributed that "melancholy" feeling to the natural letdown, recognizing that life must move on from a treasured moment. Partially, I think it's true, but the Lord is revealing something new to me about the feeling. That lump, that longing, that restlessness of the spirit is perhaps a gentle calling from my Savior, Redeemer, and best friend. His invitation to put my hope in more, something lasting, someone perfect. Philippians 4:4-8 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." It goes on to say in verse 12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." I've read this passage many times before, but today it had a special significance to me. That feeling of discontentment that sneaks in from time to time, rather than reflecting my circumstances is, on a deeper level, reflecting where I am placing my hope, where my heart is dwelling and what truths I am filling my mind with. Thankgoodness God gives me grace when I am wallowing in a moment hope misplaced, and thankgoodness He is faithful to give me that lump in my throat to point me towards Hope's proper home! "Whether well fed or hungry" (I think this can mean spiritual hunger as well), isn't it good to know that even when we are unfaithful, God is unwavering, and quick to meet us right where we are, in any moment.
"Father, I need you to carry me through each day, and each moment within a day. I am lost without you. Forgive me for placing my hope in anything or anyone but you. When I am ugly in my sin, grab my face by my chin and gently pull my gaze to you. Pull me out of my moods, my negative thinking, and fill me with the Truth. Prune me, refine me into all you've called me to be, bearing much fruit, being a sweet fragrence to all those around me. Only by your strength can I do anything. I love you! Amen"