It might’ve been in high school, but maybe it was my college years, when I was a counselor in the youth group. I really can’t remember. I do know it was in chapel at summer camp. A once pro-surfer, turned pastor, shared something that stuck with me. He said to open your Bible when you’re depressed. Read, and keep reading. I’m pretty sure he referenced Joshua when the Israelites were taking the promised land. He encouraged us to fight for our joy – get it back by letting the Word of God renew our minds.
I know there’s a lot to depression. No one pill to swallow. But I do think there’s truth here. Sometimes all I really need is to soak in the Word. Let it wash me through and through. I also know I can enter my quiet time without really being present. My mind distracted by what’s happening on facebook or what I’m cooking for dinner. By the end, I haven’t really let the Word of Christ dwell richly in me.
Over the years I’ve found the Gospel of Mark to be one which reels in my thoughts, capturing my attention quickly. Part of it’s because of the fast pace in which it’s written. The other part is because of its focus on the servanthood of Jesus rather than His teaching. It’s easy to see Jesus in action, constantly at work in humanity, healing broken lives, hearing desperate cries, moving to need after need, doing the will of the Father.
When my heart feels tired and weary, this is refreshing. At the same time, it’s stirring when I’m settled and complacent.
So I’ve been reading through Mark, lately, and the Lord’s been speaking to my heart. Redirecting my focus. Lifting my spirits with hope.
I thought I’d share here. Just some reflections as I go chapter by chapter. I’m not committing to a time frame or even an outline. I’m going at a pace I can handle as I juggle my other roles. This means I may breeze through a whole chapter in a single blog post —maybe only focusing on one verse. It may also mean expounding verse by verse. What I do know is I’ll make it through–even if it takes all year! :)
So, do you want to read Mark with me? Maybe share your thoughts in the comments or via email? I’d love to hear from you. I’ll post a question at the end of each post. Hopefully, to spur our thoughts and encourage conversation.
Now it’s your turn. Where do you go when you’re feeling down? Do you have a favorite passage in the Bible, or is there a particular book which helps reset your frame of mind?