The winter season is a time for family, football, and seasonal depression. Many Christians suffer from what is known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a pattern of significant depressive episodes that appear during a seasonal change and then disappear in the next season. You might feel sad, lonely, stressed, guilty, or a mix of several negative emotions during this time of year. While professionals like NuWell Christian Counseling can provide clinical help should your symptoms worsen, we, as Christians, know that we have a loving God we can turn to when times are tough. What can we do to remind ourselves when the going gets tough?
Your Trials Have Meaning
Winter is a time of change and development throughout nature. Animals hibernate in their warm dens to build strength for the spring season and weather winter storms. God reminds us often in His Word that our trials and challenges are placed upon us to allow us to grow deeper in ourselves and our faith. Like animals in winter, we are meant to come out of our trials better than before, and God promises that we will not face challenges we cannot overcome.
God is Constant
While seasons change, God does not. God is perfect and unchanging. We can remind ourselves of this during the winter, as we know that the dark clouds will give way to a beautiful, sunny spring season one day. As Christians, we should take comfort in knowing that we have an unchanging and perfect God to call on for help during our trials. Suffering is part of life, but it will come to an end and grant us hope and endurance. When we have hope, God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Winter Prompts Prayer
Often, we are easily distracted by the world around us and get lost from God. This is especially easy to do when it is warm and outdoor activities are plentiful. Winter is the perfect time to stay in and spend more time with God through prayer and reflection. Remember when the Apostle Paul and his friends journeyed to Macedonia? Throughout their travels, they were faced with trial after trial. Despite this, they took comfort in prayer and managed to triumph!
“For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn-conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him.” 2 Corinthians 7:5-7.
Those who struggle with SAD typically experience symptoms in the fall/winter and then go into remission in the spring/summer. It is essential to see professional help if your symptoms become detrimental to your life or well-being, but it is also crucial to have faith. SAD is a trial like any other, and God calls on us to lean on Him and not our own understanding when we are persevering through tribulations.
It is important to remember that you are not alone. NuWell Christian Counseling can assist Christians struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder and help them grow in their faith and themselves! If you need help overcoming SAD, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, and God. Remember Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”