Highway to Heaven (April 20, 2014)

The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ seems a perfect time to launch the Prayer Ministry of our United Methodist Disability Connections.  Each week we will focus on a disabling condition, an action or support group, an upcoming workshop or conference, or other area of disability.  We will also be praying for you.  Please let us know what is on your heart.  You can send your requests to  umcdisabilityconnections@gmail.com

This week I’d like to share a true story from my son-in-law, Tony. He told my eight-year-old grandson Bradley that there’s a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell.

Bradley replied, in his infinite wisdom, “Then it’s easier to get to Heaven!”

Tony asked, “How do you figure?”

Bradley answered as he was walking off, “I can’t drive, duh.”

Did that make you laugh? Good, because we’re told that laughter is the best medicine. But there are many among us who find laughter, and happiness, difficult for they live with depression. My mother lived with depression for many years, and for many years I tried my hardest to make her happy. It made both of us unhappy, for it was nothing I could fix, and my efforts only made her more unhappy.

Medical experts believe that an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain can cause symptoms of depression. A person can suffer from episodes of depression that can last for months or years. Today we have effective medications and mental health therapies, but we also have God. Recent research shows that people of faith are far more likely (71%) to respond well to treatment and experience better outcomes, such as: lessening of depression, reductions in self-harm, and increases in psychological well-being (peace of mind, ability to have fun, general satisfaction). This week let us pray for our brothers and sisters struggling with depression, for their friends and families, and for the physicians and therapists who care for them.

Dear Healing God, We thank you for the love and care you extend to us, and remember that you enfold us under your wing like a mother hen. We ask that you send your calming spirit and your healing touch to those who are living under the veil of depression. Help them and us understand that depression is not a sin or a personal failing, but a disease like so many others. We thank you for the gift of physicians and therapists, and ask that give us the courage to use them. Please bless their endeavors. We ask for the courage to ask for help, and to accept it. And we thank you for the friends and family so willing to help us and stand by us. Give all of us courage and compassion to face each new day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. Blessings – Pastor Diane

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