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10/10/2019

A spiritual comment and prayer to start the day with writer and blogger on mental health issues and faith, Emma Scrivener.

A spiritual comment and prayer to start the day with writer and blogger on mental health issues and faith, Emma Scrivener.

Good Morning.

For many people autumn is the best season packed with bonfires, falling leaves, and cosy evenings in. Yet for others, as the days darken, so do their thoughts. At this time of year, GP surgeries are filled with the sounds of sneezing; and our mental health can suffer along with our bodies, perhaps something to bear in mind on this World Mental Health Day.

In the Gospels, Jesus describes himself as a doctor for the sick. No-one goes to the doctor saying “I’m feeling great, just thought I’d let you know.” In the same way, Jesus does not direct his message to good folks in good health. He comes for ordinary, messed-up people, with all sorts of struggles: including mental illness.
When we’re struggling, it’s tempting to withdraw from others. All of us need community for our health and well-being and church is not a place for those who are perfect or problem free. Instead, it should be a hospital for the sick.

So when we’re weak in body or spirit, we can encourage others with these words from Psalm 34:
‘The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’
This verse reminds me that faith does not shield us from suffering. However, it points us to a Doctor who draws near to us in our pain. The Lord Jesus is a God who understands what it is to be weak and sad, lonely and frightened. He meets us even in the darkest places.

Dear Lord Jesus, we bring before you those with physical and mental illness. Thank you that, whatever our struggles, we can come to you. Thank you that you promise to care for us, just as a Doctor cares for the sick.

Amen.

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