The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, October 3, 2022, comes to us from Marty Smith of Pennsylvania.
1 Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. 4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. 5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. 6 Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. 7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Psalm 86:1-7 NRSV
After a difficult shoulder surgery, I was severely limited in my daily activities and spent many of my days alone. I developed anxiety and, according to my counselor, a form of PTSD. I was depressed, lost weight, and couldn’t sleep. I was shaking uncontrollably. I was overwhelmed with negative thoughts. Daily I would call out to God, “Please help me, God. I can’t live like this!”
One afternoon, a voice in my mind said, You will make it. Just that simple phrase. Soon after, with the proper medications, much prayer, professional counseling, and the support of my wonderful wife, I began to recover. I would not wish this experience on anyone. But through all of this, I gained new understanding and concern for mental health issues as well as a better relationship with God. When I learned how to truly open myself to God’s spirit and strength, God really did answer me in my time of need.
We all face challenges. Some challenges are within our ability to overcome, but there are other challenges that shake us to our core, requiring us to seek help. Help comes in many forms, from the advice of a trusted friend to the listening ear of a therapist. As a pastor, who speaks with a therapist, I can attest to the ways God works through counselors, psychologists, and social workers. Marty’s reflection reminds us that God partners with skilled professional to grant us peace and provide us with hope.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your strength and love that sustain us in our daily lives. Amen
-- Marty Smith
Mental Health Counselors.
Thought for the day:
God truly listens to me in my times of need.