There’s been a whole two weeks of bleak looking, dark skies here. Snow and ice was covering
the ground, and we’re beginning to complain about the weather. We try not to do this, because it doesn’t help and as everyone tells us: “you can’t do anything about the weather.” There’s another saying, too, and it really gets to the core of the problem: “If you can’t change it, then change your attitude.”
Winter depression is something many people suffer from. I’ve read where brain chemicals, ions in the air and genetics seem to be involved. Perhaps then, more than an attitude change is required. Regardless of the cause, there is no question that when the seasons change and there is fewer sunny days, some people suffer from what’s known as “seasonal affective disorder.” You’ll notice that this term produces the acronym SAD.
It’s during this time when I get out my favorite wool sweater, heat up the cider and sit by
the fireplace. Eventually, we’ll take off for Florida but until then and for all those unable to go to warmer, brighter climates, where does the solution lie? Such people have one thing in common, They are particularly sensitive to light, or the lack of it and may decide that bright light therapy is the treatment choice they need.
Recently I was flipping through a hymnal and a title of one of the songs caught my eye, “How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours.” I thought it was a rather strange hymn title. You generally don’t see words like tedious and tasteless used in a hymn book. I had never heard the song played and it was time for me to check
out the lyrics.
First of all, I looked for the name written to the left side, at the top of the page. John Newton was the writer of this song. Many of us remember reading how John Newton was converted to Christianity. God used a dreadful storm to get the attention of this wicked, blasphemous sailor. At the time, John cried out, asking God to have mercy on him, the ship and its crew. Then it struck him! “What mercy could there be for him?” he, who had long opposed God and the scriptures. The truth dawned on John Newton and he was gloriously saved. He went on to become a hymn writer, preaching and singing about the “Amazing Grace” of God, and the wonder of having a personal relationship with Him.
To my amazement, in this hymn with the most unusual title, John was writing about, of all
things, the seasons. I love the line that says, “December’s as pleasant as May.” We must look further in this song to find what John Newton’s mind set was and how he could have such a perspective.
The secret lies in the sentence preceding that startling statement. It reads, “But when I am happy with Him,” (December’s as pleasant as May). He was saying when he is content and happy in Jesus it didn’t matter what the season was.
Let’s look further at the lyrics. “Why do I languish and pine, And why are my winters so long?” Here he is saying why do I worry and fret, especially after the Lord has brought him through difficult times. “When Jesus I know longer see, Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers, Have all lost their sweetness to me.” There is John’s perspective on the matter. When he loses sight of Jesus, everything loses its sweetness, no matter what the season.
One more line tells us that John asks God to drive the dark clouds from his sky. The lyrics show he knows the solution is for his soul to be cheered in God’s presence. And when he is happy, “My summer would last all the year.”
I am tempted to say, “Season’s Greetings,” but it seems too politically correct, besides Jesus is the reason for the season so I say ” Merry Christmas.” Christians love the Christmas season, but with it comes the bitter, cold weather season. With encouragement from John Newton, we must not let our spirits become bitter. Have a Merry Christmas!.
P.S.There is a heavenly perspective to consider here, however, some of you may decide that an artificial light box would be the ideal gift for you. 🙂