Sadness-Bulletin-ImageWelcome to week 4 of our mental health and faith series as we struggle with different emotions and how they effect our lives and the lives of those around us. We have examined fear and worry and how they get in the way of us truly living the life God has called us to. We also have talked about disgust and anger and how they affect our relationships as well.

We talked about some of the disorders that come with some of these emotions and that this is not something, if you’re facing it, that you need to face alone. There are others going through this too. You are not alone, and if you feel you need help, I encourage you to reach out and get the help you need.

One of my hopes during this series is that you walk away with the understanding that you don’t have to have it all together. And as I’ve said before, if there is any place that you can go and express just how broken you are, it’s in the church. The church is a place where you should feel open to share how you are truly feeling. So, take off the mask and really have an open and honest conversation.

Today we turn our focus to another character in the movie “Inside Out,” sadness. Sadness is something that we’ve been taught by society that we shouldn’t talk about. This should be something that we keep to ourselves, but what good does that do? In the movie, there is a moment when Joy has instructions for Sadness. She draws a circle on the floor and calls it the “Circle of Sadness” and wants her to stay inside the circle. Sadness’ job is to make sure all the sadness stays in the circle. How impossible is that. Sadness cannot be contained, it affects all of our lives. We can’t not talk about it.

I think God want us to talk about it. I think that while God doesn’t want us to be sad or depressed, he knows it is a normal part of this life. I know this because of scripture. There are so many places where we find people who are sad, extremely sad. We heard some of those words this past Sunday from Jeremiah chapter 20, verses 14-18.

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and here we find his words written down, almost as a journal sharing his feelings. This passage comes immediately after a prophecy to Pashur, a priest and a son of a chief officer in the house of the Lord. He gives Pashur a pretty harsh prophecy, and then, feeling a deep sadness for giving such bad news, he writes this response to God.

Jeremiah was sad, I would even say depressed. These words are written from a deep and dark place. He seems to be battling his life in his calling, in his work, and his private life. In this chapter, Jeremiah seems to be two very different people. Have you felt like you needed to keep up appearances out in the world, even though you are breaking to pieces on the inside? Have you ever been in one of those places?

Moses experienced sadness when he came down from his mountaintop encounter with God. He’s just received the ten commandments and is coming to deliver the word of God to the people, only to find them worshiping idols and doing other things against God’s will. His heart is broken for these people whom God called Moses to lead to freedom. He cries out to God “But now, if you will forgive their sin, but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”

Have there been people who have broken your heart? Whether it was by things they had done, something they said, or maybe even how they ignored you, has there been someone who has hurt you so deeply, that you find it difficult to forgive them? Do you feel like you have failed them? Maybe it’s a son or daughter that has strayed from the family, and you’re not sure what you might have done or said. It hurts so bad, and you just want them home again. Maybe Moses’ story strikes a chord in your life.

Then we have David who wrote some of the most heart wrenching words in scripture. We find them in the Psalms. Words of pain, loss, solitude, despair abound as David pours his heart out for all to read.

We are surrounded by sadness and depression, but we don’t have to face it alone. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that God is always with us, and sometimes that comes in the form of others that God places in our lives. God places helpers along our journey to help us through these troubled times. They are you friends and family, your neighbors and even strangers. Maybe you are called to be a helper for someone today.

This past Sunday we had a special guest share her testimony with her church family. I encourage you to follow this link to a video of this sermon with her time of sharing. It is a positive reminder about who we are called to be in our churches and the community around us. A huge thank you to Stacy Lamoreux for stepping outside of her comfort zone and listening to God’s call to share this incredibly important message.

Inside Out – Sadness & Depression