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Battling the Blues – When Life Tingles

Spiritual EncouragementKey Bible Verse: You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray!  – Psalm 77:4

Bonus Reading: 1 Kings 19:1-9a

I am not by nature a depressed guy. But several years ago I suffered a bout of clinical depression—meaning I was depressed for more than two weeks. How did I get into such a dark place?

My therapist, Dr. David Blakeslee, helped me realize that I’d developed an unhealthy ability to persevere. That’s right, I didn’t know when to quit. Twenty years earlier I’d resolved that once I started something I’d never throw in the towel. After all, if I hung in there long enough I’d outlive most of my problems and a lot of the competition.

I was writing over 500 words a day for publication as well as preparing a sermon every week. I was also leading a church and caring for my family. These activities provided me with a growing ministry and a sense of financial security, and—oh, yes—burnout.

“Bill,” Dr. Blakeslee asked one day, “if you were sleeping on your arm and it began to tingle, what would you do?”

“I’d roll over.”

“That’s right,” he said. “Yet when you’re involved in something that’s causing you mental and emotional pain, you refuse to roll over. You believe God wants you to hang in there even when it’s destroying you.”

As he spoke I heard a mental gear fall into place, cla-clink!   [continued tomorrow]

—Bill Perkins in Six Rules Every Man Must Break

My Response: What area in my life is “tingling” right now?

Adapted from Six Rules Every Man Must Break (Tyndale, 2007)

Prayer for the Week: When I feel discouraged, Lord, help me make positive adjustments and pour myself into others.



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