(February 3, 2009)

Our pastor delivered a series of sermons in February 2009 that inspired me. He asked if we were ever moved by something – gripped by something that bothered us so deeply that we wanted to do something about it. Or are our lives too busy – too self-centered – to notice?S Is there something we could do to make things better?

Do we feel that our life counts for something? Do we have direction? Seneca said, “If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.” If we can take some quiet time with God to chew on the things that bother us and look for a way that we could help, life would become meaningful.

Years ago I was bothered by the stigma attached to mental illness. This discontent would not go away. I was angered by it, knowing that mental illness was not anything a sufferer could help. It isn’t fair to be saddled by shame, as well as the symptoms of a painful disorder.

Bill Hybels wrote a great little book called Holy Discontent. The description of “holy discontent” on the back cover reads:

“What is the one aspect of this broken world that, when you see it, touch it, or get near it, you just can’t stand? What reality is so troubling that it thrusts you off the couch and into action? This is what Bill Hybels refers to as a holy discontent: a personal ‘firestorm of frustration’ that, although sparked by that which is terribly wrong, can catalyze fierce determination to set things right. It is often during these eye-opening heart-hungering moments of engagement when you will hear God whisper, “I feel the exact same way about this situation. Now, let’s go solve it together.'”

I had a discontent that would not go away. God lit a fire in me that won’t die. The result has been many articles, two books, and the founding of Living Room, a faith-based support program for people with mood disorders.

Does it bother you too that people with mental health issues don’t get more acceptance and better support from the church? Do you also feel such a “holy discontent?” Would you too like to form a Christian support group for people with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders in your church?

I never thought I’d be able to facilitate such a group. But I found out that when God is in it, He will do the work. All we to do is to share His love with others. You’d be surprised at what can happen.

If you’re interested in joining in God’s vision to create a good place for Christians with mood disorders to meet together, I hope you’ll check out Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries at They can help you get started.