Storms and difficulties of all kinds and sizes come our way. From simple gray spells or times of discouragement, to life’s big storms and even pandemics. And they can really start to get us down. A lot of life’s problems are extremely serious, like this COVID-19 that is currently afflicting the world. And it can be really difficult to not worry.
Worry doesn’t work
Both Scripture and life teaches that worry does no good. It only starts a downward spiral of negativity.
So while I in no way want to make light of this present emergency, I’d like to recount a little story about a time when the Lord taught me the importance of vanquishing “the blues.”
We’d been having a long period of rainy weather. Dark, gray, gloomy, and foggy. Just like our present drippy scenery.
Which I find rather hard, as I’m a sun-loving person by nature. These gloomy days tend to get me down. Unlike my husband who, in many ways, is an eternal optimist. And who can, camera in hand, take such gloomy days and turn them into beauty! I can’t claim to share either his talent or his optimism.
It was a week that hadn’t even started out well, due to my own stupidity. Because, even though for an old granny, I’m usually pretty good with technology, I managed to erase the only copies of many special photos from my external hard drive and even ruin the device.
And then continued to kick myself for it over and over again. Hubby tried to encourage me, reminding me that they were only things and of no lasting value. But I’d already been trying (unsuccessfully) to convince myself of that! I even tried congratulating myself on my thorough job of digital decluttering. None of which helped.
The rainy day blues
And the gloomly continual dripping did little to lift my spirits. Enter that gray scene: head cold and nasty sinus infection. Zero energy, and even less desire to do anything. I’d had better weeks.
And I’d been desperately needing to do laundry! Not owning a clothes dryer doesn’t usually present me with great problems. But we’d just gone through a week of most unusual snow. So followed by that week of rain, the situation was getting desperate. We needed clean socks and underwear!
The arrival of Sunday brought a brief respite, but I wasn’t home to do laundry because we’d gone to visit friends after church. And by the time we left for home, the rain had returned. Again!
God’s optimism booster
And that’s when the Lord decided I needed an optimism booster.
As we were leaving, their 10-year old daughter Shantal, bounded ahead of us out the door. Jumping and leaping, as kids with their boundless energy, are apt to do. Especially after snacking on gummy bears, potato chips, and cookies!
“Oh how nice, it’s raining!” she shouted, as though heralding some great novelty.
“Nice?” I thought, “What’s NICE about it?” Clearly her childlike optimism kept pace with her endless energy. She’s a delightful girl who seems to greet everything (even gloomy gray days) with great enthusiasm and joy.
But she made me wonder, “What’s wrong with me? I don’t usually let things or weather get to me like this.” And I realized I’d been forgetting to be grateful. Forgetting to look at the bright side. And for the silver lining in every cloud, even those of the darkest, grayest storms. So I decided to find some simple ways for beating the rainy day blues.
And during these dark days of enforced shut-in and isolation, you might want to join me in putting them into practice. Times like these can easily get us down and discouraged, but they don’t have to. We can fight back!
10 ways to beat the blues
How to keep the shut-in blues, the rainy day blues, the lockdown blues, or whatever, from getting the best of you! And even help you find the silver lining in even the darkest of clouds!
Whatever dark time or storm may be getting you down, I hope these tips will lift your spirits. And that number 10, especially, will lift and restore your faith and hope in God!
1. See the bright side. ☁️ ☂️ ☀️
Remember that rain is good. It waters the ground, grows the crops. Makes everything fresh and new. Just as the storms of life can also bring renewed faith and trust in God.
2. Look ahead to see the silver lining. ☀️
Rain always ends and it brings spring flowers and even rainbows! So remember that no trial or affliction lasts forever. The sun will shine again!
3. Work up some energy. 😅
Lack of routine and activity can bring lethargy and depression. So get up and work up some energy by cleaning house or doing a workout. You’ll find new energy and probably even a fresh perspective!
4. Brighten things up. 🌼
Light candles or put out some flowers or a pretty picture. Just like many school kids all over Italy have done with their cheery drawings of rainbows in windows!
5. Change your viewpoint. 🖼️
Start a hobby or learn something new. Or try rearranging furniture, pictures, or accessories. Or even just look out the window or around the room and count all your blessings!
6. Change your outlook. 📚
Grab your umbrella and take a walk (if you can). Call a friend or neighbor. Or perhaps watch your favorite movie or read an encouraging book.
7. Have a special treat. ☕
Treat yourself to some special cookies, a cup of coffee, tea, or chocolate. But skip the cookies if you’re dieting – otherwise they might increase your blues! In that case, enjoy some fruit!
8. Count your blessings. 🏡
It may be rainy or storming, but rejoice that you have a stout roof over your head, an umbrella, food to eat, or at least that God’s presence is always with you!
9. Drown out depression. 🎵
If you’re feeling anxious, worried, or depressed, drown it out with a nice hot bath or shower and some soothing music to help you relax before bed. Because a good night’s sleep can be a real morale lifter.
10. And last but far from least: Pray and read God’s Word. 🙏🏼
The Lord longs to dwell constantly in our lives. And he promises that when we draw near to him he will draw near to us. He never changes and is always right by our side – come rain or shine, snow or heat! And everything God sends is always good – even if it doesn’t seem so at first!
Every gift God sends is good. It’s just that sometimes we need to see them in a different light!Tweet
With God’s help and by keeping our eyes on the bright side we too, like little Shantal, can find the cloud’s silver lining!
But (wouldn’t you know)? it was still raining the next day! Drip, drip, drip, all day long. So I thanked the Lord for the good gift of rain adding, “But if you wouldn’t mind Lord, I’d like a different good gift tomorrow.” Because well, wind and sun – they’re good gifts too, aren’t they?”
Sometimes we just need to see God’s gifts in a different light!