It does not take long after the Feast for Satan’s attacks upon God’s children to resume, does it? If we are truly blessed, we get a respite during the entire Feast that can carry us on through the winter months. However, it is not unusual for some to experience “post-Feast blues”.
Isn’t it really sad that some who falsely claim to be a part of the Church of God (COG) would allow themselves to be tools of Satan and attack people for feeling a bit down after such an emotionally charged event like the Feast? Isn’t it sad that false teachers coming in wolve’s clothing would spiritually devour those who are the weakest in the flock, just like their father, the greatest terrorist of all, picks on the weak and defenseless? Like spiritual Amalekites, they choose the children, the aged and infirmed and attack those who straggle in the rear, showing the cowards they are. Seriously, how low can some people go to prove they do not have and probably never had the love of God in them?
God has shown me that He is a God of mercy and compassion, showing love to the poor, the fatherless, the widow and any others who are unable to defend themselves and yet are willing to turn to Him! To get on the wrong side of that equation is to invite judgment of a severe kind.
Some of the reasons for the post-Feast blues are rather obvious. The Feast is such a spiritual and emotional high for many. It is anticipated months in advance. Yet, it goes far too quickly. Afterwards, it is back to “reality”. That reality can be dealing with illness, whether of one’s self or a loved one, unemployment (sometimes because we insist upon keeping God’s festivals), stress caused by catching up on work/schoolwork, accumulated mail and unpaid bills, people who are habitually coming from a very bad frame of mind or things as mild as returning to the ho-hum meals and living conditions that fall below what we just enjoyed for a short while.
This is a bit like blaming the victim, isn’t it? People who have been hurt and wounded by the world are supposed to just “buck up”, “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and “face things head-on”, if you believe this load of stuff. However, the Bible says not only are we supposed to call upon God to lift us up, because we cannot lift ourselves up, but God working through the Church, the members that make up the Body, should help to lift up those who are down!
By attacking people for feeling down, it actually drives them further into guilt, shame and/or anger rather than following the Apostle Paul’s instructions.
26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Hopefully, it is not because we were not spiritually fed during the eight days we attended the Feast that gives us the blues. Hopefully, that food was sufficient to carry us through this present world that stands in such contrast to what the Feast of Tabernacles pictures. However, it is possible that the weight of the world is more than one individual can carry.
We are to hate this world. Of course, that does not mean we are to hate the people in it. However, we are to hate the world’s systems and the suffering the world produces. This alone can dampen our joy.
Of course, “the blues” is usually a temporary thing that lasts until we get back into the swing of things. We move on in life and deal with the joys and the sorrows of the moment. Yet, before long we start thinking about the next set of holy days, don’t we? That picks us up and helps us to carry forward as well.
What if we cannot shake the blues, however? Well, that my friends is called depression. It may or may not happen immediately after the Feast, but it has been shown that during the winter months depression is more common. There is even a condition called “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD), and the National Institute of Health says of SAD:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter.
People who live in places with long winter nights are at greater risk for SAD. A less common form of the disorder involves depression during the summer months.
However, depression is not just restricted to the winter months, is it? No, it can happen at any time of year, and it may be triggered by almost any type of stress. Again, the NIH says about depression:
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
There are those who would even claim that depression is a sin. Indeed, if someone mocks the idea of the post-Feast blues, are they not making the same claim? Are they not part of the problem rather than being part of the solution? Are they not wolves in sheep’s clothing?
In fact, just reading the Book of Psalms, one comes face to face with David’s down moments! Here is a man presented as a man after God’s own heart, yet he was downright angry and depressed at times! We also see the key in dealing with depression and anger in the Psalms, though, as he always turned his problems over to God.
Was Job depressed?
3 May the day I was born perish,
and the night when they said,
“A boy is conceived.”
4 If only that day had turned to darkness!
May God above not care about it,
or light shine on it.
5 May darkness and gloom reclaim it,
and a cloud settle over it.
May an eclipse of the sunterrify it.
6 If only darkness had taken that night away!
May it not appearamong the days of the year
or be listed in the calendar.
11 Why was I not stillborn;
why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?
Doesn’t that sound cheery? Does that not sound like a man who was rejoicing? Of course not!
How about Jonah?
4 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. 2 He prayed to the LORD: “Please, LORD, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster. 3 And now,Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
More good cheer, huh? Did God chew out Jonah for acting like a child? For being upset? For becoming depressed and pouting? I think we all know the answer.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “May the gods punish me and do so severelyif I don’t make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow!”
3 Then Elijah became afraidand immediately ran for his life. When he came to Beer-shebathat belonged to Judah, he left his servant there, 4 but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! LORD, take my life,for I’m no better than my fathers.”
So, here is where God told Elijah to buck up, pull up himself by his bootstraps and act like a man, right?
Again, I think we know the answer.
So, if God Almighty, Who is always perfect, edifies and reassures His followers even in the worst of times, then whose spirit is it that will attack and demean someone who is already down? Who kicks a person when they are down? Is that God’s Holy Spirit?
Again, what are we commanded to do, brethren?
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
And if we do not obey, then what are we doing? So, why listen to false teachers who would lead us to disobedience?