Winter is upon us. For some, that means experiencing cooler, mild weather where they can finally spend time outside without the oppressive heat. For others, that means experiencing many cold, dark days. I fall into the latter group.
I loved winter growing up. I lived in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, where winter meant many days riding my bike around the neighborhood or playing in my jeans and a t-shirt on the school playground. However, that all changed when I was 12-years-old and my parents moved our family to the Pacific Northwest (PNW).
The PNW has so much to offer. Stunning landscapes, four seasons, and easy access to winter sports. However, the days can also be incredibly dark. With those dark days, I began struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD). Additionally, I have gone through serious bouts of depression–when doing simple, daily tasks felt impossible. Whether struggling with SAD or depression, one constant in those seasons is the overwhelming desire to stay in bed all day.
There are many mornings when I am overcome with an oppressive feeling of anxiety and dread the second my alarm jerks me into consciousness. Simple things like unloading the dishwasher, running a load of laundry, or getting my kids ready for school seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb. Not to mention, in some seasons, I am overcome with absolute sadness, even if there is no reason to be sad. Typically, I just want to literally pull the covers over my head and sink back into a dreamless sleep where my problems seem to disappear.
When I am struggling in this way, I have found it helpful to keep my Bible right by my bedside, so I can operate in God's strength and not my own. I might not be able to get out of bed on my own, but I can lean on His strength to put two feet on the floor.
Even if you don't live in a cold climate, you may be experiencing factors that make it difficult to get out of bed. If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, I suggest printing out and keeping the below list of Bible verses by your bed so that you can lean on Jesus–the all-powerful One who can empathize with your struggles.
- His Mercies Are New THIS Morning
Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! – Lamentations 3:21–23
This morning, remember that His mercies are new right now. He will give you the strength to put two feet on the floor once again. You can lean on your Good Father.
- Jesus Empathizes with You
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn't value him. Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains.– Isaiah 53:3–4a
As you lean on Jesus's help to put two feet on the floor, remember that He empathizes with you. Jesus knows what it is to be sick and despised. So, whatever is making you anxious today–sickness, overwhelm of duties, conflict with your family or friends–remember that Christ, who is with you right now, experienced the same thing. And more than that, Jesus took on your sickness, pain, and sins and died on the cross so that you can go to your Creator right now and experience the help of the Holy Spirit. This is no small thing. Take a moment to pray for His help right now, and He will be faithful to help you fulfill His will today.
- You Have a Helper
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. – John 14:26
If you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you have a helper with you now. This helper is the Holy Spirit, and He can guide you through whatever trials and sufferings you experience today.
- God Offers You Armor for Today
Be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. – Ephesians 6:10–12
God offers you His armor so that you can resist evil. You have protection in Him and are safe in His loving arms.
- We Live As Conquerors Through Jesus
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. – Romans 8:37
Though you struggle this morning, God has already conquered sin and death. You can live today as a conqueror because He loves you. And, one day, if you follow Him, there will be no more pain, suffering, or brokenness. The anxiety and pain you feel this morning will, one day, be no more.
- He Will Not Allow Your Foot to Slip
He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.
Remember, God is your Protector. He was up all night. If you were up, He was up with you. If you slept, He was watching over you. You are never alone, and He is ready and waiting to help you today as you call on His name.
- He is Doing a New Thing
Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19
Daily, God offers you new morning mercies through His Son's sacrifice on the cross. Lean on Him as He makes you into Christlikeness. Someday, all things will be new–there will be a new heaven and earth. All the dread you feel now will one day be gone. Pray that you will live in the reality of His kingdom come today as you press into His strength and power
One day, at the end of all things, you will rise from your slumber and see God's shining, magnificent face. You will never again struggle to rise from your bed. The sense of anxiety, depression, and overwhelm you feel right now will be forever gone. Until that day, remember: you have help through the Holy Spirit, God's Word, and His Church.
Additional Resources for Depression and Anxiety:
Bible Study on Anxiety: It Is Well
Bible Study on Depression: Never Alone
Verse Cards for Anxiety: Prayers for Anxiety
Any diagnosis of clinical anxiety or depression must come from a medical professional qualified to diagnose and treat such physiological symptoms. You should never attempt to self-diagnose. If you think you may be struggling with clinical anxiety or depression, please seek the help of a qualified mental health professional. We hope this blog post encourages you regardless of the nature of your anxiety or depression, as God and His Word speak to every condition, physical or spiritual. We can cling to His Word even as we partake of the physical blessings of professional help and means of care that He provides to meet our specific needs.