Years ago, I was glancing through a Sunday school paper and enjoyed a report from a chronically depressed lady. She probably had Bipolar II which is mostly depressed and some highs but she fluctuated a lot. She found herself in an “up” period and realized that, in the past, she would have hoped that it was permanent and dreaded relapse. This time she told herself that she needed to use the up times to prepare for the downs. She sat down and put together an EMERGENCY KIT. She took a shoe box and put a list of things to do to combat depression on the lid. She then filled the insides with the tools she would need to carry out her list.
I thought, “How humble!” She didn’t demand that God cure her, although she had asked and wouldn’t have minded if he did. She didn’t water down the reality of her illness. She didn’t wallow in self-pity or refuse to appreciate the “up” time because it wouldn’t last. She did prepare for the possible shift so that she could keep her eyes on the Lord in the middle of the valley.
I thought that her example was worth following and made my own emergency kit.
I gathered those truths that encourage and inspire me and shift my eyes back to the Lord.For safety reasons, the brain is wired in the negative and I can get trapped in going around and around on them and wind up terribly depressed. I need to review the higher truths and then my “positive, yes but” cortex can remind me of them even in the middle of a storm.
What would have helped Peter when he was taking his eyes off of the Lord? REMINDING HIMSELF that: he was already walking on the water, that is Jesus right there, if I do drown-big deal! Straight to heaven no years of laboring in the vineyard no being crucified upside down, besides, if I am going to walk on water, how cool to walk on stormy water rather than boring old flat water!
If you see the value of an emergency kit then start to collect the things that God uses to speak to your heart, the things that calm and steady you. Write them on 3×5 cards and carry them with you. Review them when you get up, at lunch, dinner and bedtime. Remember that a soldier has to practice with his weapons when no one is shooting at him if he expects to be able to use them when under attack. Keep the cards handy. It is very hard to remember the higher truths during an attack and hunting around for the reminder cards will be too much.
1 Who I am in Jesus:Colossians 2:10 I am complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also I am circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also I am risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead
2. Examples of what God has been doing for and through me recently (God Watch):
3. People to pray for:I Samuel 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you. This will get my focus off of my problem.
4.Scripture verses that encourage and keep my eyes on the Lord:
5. Poems/hymns:Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
6.Things God has done for me in the past: Acts 7:2-53 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,etc.,
7. Repeatedly cry out to God “Thanks, Help, Show me my part” Spot the part of my concern that I can do nothing about and remind myself that this is God’s not mine.
8.Who may I call for encouragement? Phone #
9.People that I care for and who care for me:
10.Ask, “Well what can I do?” Then do the little that I can do in regards to the problems I face. “Well, what do I have?” Then pause and enjoy them. “Well, who is in my life?” Then love on them. “Well, who am I?” Then pause and thank God for all the unchangable parts of who I am.