Last Sunday, Rebecca Foo started a four part sermon series on Faith and Mental Health. As Rebecca stated at the outset, mental health is not specifically mentioned in the Bible. But we can deduce from accounts of various biblical characters that they struggled at various times in their lives. And that some of the descriptions of their behaviour and reactions to situations suggest mental health issues, if not extreme then at least in part.
On Sunday, Rebecca recounted various times in Moses’ life that he displayed symptoms of anxiety. I can relate to this, as I’m sure that I have struggled with anxiety many times in my life. To the extent that one can self-diagnose, I believe that it has been anxiety and not just heightened stress that has affected me. This has never been diagnosed as an anxiety disorder by a professional.
The reality is that many important and influential people in history have suffered from various mental health issues, particularly that of anxiety. Moses is one example from the Bible. There are many others in the history books. Often we have not been aware of people’s struggles until memoirs or biographies are published. And then we are often surprised to learn of these struggles.
I know that God has helped me with my anxiety in many situations throughout my life. It is important to be aware of stress and anxiety when it occurs and to give it over to the Lord. This is not always easy, but we are encouraged to rely on God in all situations.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 are great verses to keep in mind. The theme is Paul’s mysterious “thorn in his flesh”:
9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
May the God of Grace bless you and keep you.