For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

Romans 14:7

 Have you ever felt there was no point to anything? Maybe you felt bored? Miserable? No longer fully alive? You might be thinking, “Is this all there is?” Maybe some of you are feeling this way today.

Or perhaps you’re downright depressed, unable to escape the dark hole you’ve found yourself in – unable to even imagine things getting better. And, as it is for so many of us who get depressed, we forget what living in freedom is like. We’re trapped in darkness with no hope of escape in sight.

I’ve felt that way many times.

One year we were on vacation in a sunny place. Yet despite the bright skies, I could not shake the dark that had been with me for a long while. However, in a book I was reading I stumbled upon a glimmer of hope:

The book quoted the Scripture above: “For none of us lives for ourselves alone.” I’ll never forget how those words affected me. They lifted me up and helped me remember that I had something to live for. The words took me away from my self-centeredness, a condition so common to depression. Being reminded that my life is not for myself alone helped me look at what lay beyond my present circumstances. The words revealed what I had always believed and lived by. I want to give of myself.

And yet, in all truth, I was sick. Depression is not unlike physical illness. It takes time to recover. Pretty soon those words that had lifted me, were hidden once more by darkness. Depression made living for others pretty well impossible. I would have to wait before I could make that Scripture real in my life again.

Repeatedly I went back to those words that had helped so much. Repeatedly God lifted me up giving me temporary relief from the agony…. Until eventually, after months of suffering, I found the daylight I had so badly needed. Living for others became something I could make a reality again. I started feeling truly alive once more.

Realizing there are things to live for beyond ourselves brings satisfaction and joy. Our life does not have to be a dead-end journey with ourselves the only destination. When we go beyond living for ourselves alone, so much more becomes possible. Life has more colour, vitality and fruitfulness.

Feeling cold and empty? Be warmed by the knowledge that you have a reason for living. Your life has opportunities for richness far greater than it would be if all you think about are your own needs and desires. This is where true joy comes from.

What neat things could you do today to lend a hand somewhere? Why not bring the sun out in your world. Think you can do it?

Take care,