A Shining Light and a New Garment

by Joanna Deffner on January 08, 2020

January has snuck up upon me and caught me unaware once again. And, this means one thing for me: the retirement of my Christmas decorations. Now for all of you, judgmental people, who think I leave my Christmas decorations up too long, there’s enough of you weird ones who put yours up in October and November. Enough said.

The worst part of the un-decorating process for me is taking down the tree. I miss the soft glow of the lights that penetrate the darkness of the living room, and greet me early in the morning before the sun ever crests the horizon. They bring a smile to my face, and elate my heart. But, when the tree is down, and the lights are gone, my living room appears dark, dismal, and uninviting. The excitement of getting up in the cold, winter months disappears. And, if I’m not careful, I’ll allow my joy to go with those lights and I can very easily slip into a sad state of depression.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever (Psalms 30:11–12, KJV).

I know the lack of Christmas lights in my living room seems a puerile reason to fall into any kind of state of unhappiness or even depression. However, if I’m being honest, it does happen to me from time to time. It’s Christmas lights for me, but it’s something different for you. Regardless of the reason, there’s something in our lives that triggers us to slip away into a realm of misery.

People wore sackcloth in ancient times to resemble a period of mourning and humiliation. Accompanying the garment adornment was a sense of loss and sorrow. When our spiritual state declines into a realm of darkness, we get out our sackcloths and toss our garment of praise into the laundry bin. But, this isn’t where it belongs! Our garment of praise isn’t a seasonal outfit (or decoration, like my Christmas tree). It’s to be out and on at all times! Realize, God never intended for us to digress into depression. His desire is for us to praise Him and never leave the light of His presence. We’ve got do some laundry and get on our garment of praise once again.

Call it the winter blues, the circumstances of life, or just getting up on the wrong side of the bed. It doesn’t matter because we don’t have to stay that way. We serve a great God who gives us occasion to cast aside our state of hopelessness, and rejoice in hope. He gives us gladness for our grumpiness and smiles for our slumps.

I might be missing the lighted shimmer of my Christmas lights this month, but I’ve got a light shining forth into any possible darkness of my life. The Holy Ghost has given me a new garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). God’s Spirit within me puts a spring in my step, joy in my heart, and a smile to my face. When I praise Him, He reminds me that it is He who gives me true joy and happiness in this life. I don’t need my Christmas lights. I just need Him. And, with Him, He can break every chain of darkness and depression that could ever creep into my life.

Remember, He can do the same for you, dear reader. If you’re bound by any depression today—large or small—He’s got a new garment for you and a way for you to find your shining light once more.