My guest blogger, J.D. Clark, was born in Jamaica in 1892 to a British banana plantation owner. He attended college in England and excelled in mathematics and Greek. After graduation he worked as a banker in Jamaica, Cuba, and Canada. He grew to be a man of many countries, yet was a true native of none.
One day while in New York, J.D. happened to attend the graduation ceremony of his brother and sister from the Missionary Training Institute. Moved by the commencement speech of Dr. Robert Jaffrey, J.D. committed his life to full time missionary service. When he graduated, he served in Brazil and was apart from his fiancée Ruth for two years while she finished school in New York. After marrying, they received notice of their missionary assignment, Quito, Ecuador. Here would be their “home” and mission work for the next 55 years.
J.D. Clark, among many things was a missionary preacher, teacher, and HCJB radio host, “the voice of the Andes.” J.D.’s voice would greet South American residents each morning in Spanish on the show, Amanecer con Dios, or, “Greet the Dawn with God.” Today the “voice” transcript of J.D. Clark, my grandfather, is my guest blog post.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Then King David, the Bible Psalmist, immediately answers his own question.) “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5
Praise –the antidote for depression!
The writer of this Psalm is at the point of complete despondency. After taking spiritual inventory, however, he recognizes the folly of worrying about his unfavorable circumstances when he should be concentrating on the glorious reality that he is the object of God’s loving care. He ends his review of the situation with a testimony of faith as he presents the solution to his problems: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him….”
Because the Lord does ‘all things well’, we too may look to the future with confidence, for we have this assuring promise:…“no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11) If we shake off our fear and depression by GIVING THANKS for our afflictions, it will lift from our hearts many heavy burdens.
The Apostle Paul frequently experienced great misery of soul and body, but he too reacted to the woes of life, as did the psalmist, for he exclaims with holy discernment and courage, “Be joyful ALWAYS…give thanks in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, for this is God’s will for you…” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Someone has remarked, “Wheat must be crushed to become bread; incense must be CAST ON THE FIRE to release its odors, and the earth MUST BE BROKEN by the plow’s sharp point to prepare it for the seeds of blessing!”
Yes, we must ‘hope in God’ even when difficulties loom so large that they hide the glories and the rewards that await us in the future and which God’s loving Providence has planned for us. Praise is still the great Biblical antidote for depression!”
Ann’s Note: I have loved ones and dear friends who battle lifelong depressive conditions. I have also had my own turn with clinical depression. Scientists explain that brain chemicals get out of sync with prolonged depression. Medicine and counseling helps and is a must for these warriors! However, learning new ways to consider, and emotionally process, setbacks also plays a part in restoring more complete wholeness. Christians are fortunate to have a way to “re-think” life.
Perhaps there is truth in this “dead bloggers” antidote after all!