By Sister Niya Muhammad
“New year, new me” is a statement that we all find ourselves saying at the beginning of each New Year. We all seek the opportunity for the start of a new calendar year to put in motion the goals that that we have set for ourselves the majority of the previous year.
This may be easy for matters pertaining to our finances, health or relationships, but beyond the celebratory staple traditions, what about those of us who are so deep in a situation that we genuinely seek and need a way out?
What about those of us who are suffering from depression, low self-esteem, or a heart that is heavily burdened with grief, sin, or remorse?
Unfortunately, Black communities have one of the highest statistics of those who are struggling with mental health issues, or who are in need of professional counseling, but have no one to talk to.
Our deep-rooted West Indian culture has nurtured us to believe that either it appears weak to seek help outside of our own familiar environment, or we simply can’t afford the services of professionals.
Many of us suffer in silence and resort to home remedies or quick fixes to either ease or distract us from our problems. These are the real situations that are in need of change and resolution. These are the goals that need nurturing and healing, goals that will take more to work through than just a New Year’s resolution.
No matter what our situation may be, we don’t have to go through it alone. Our Saviour has arrived so that we don’t have to endure trials by ourselves. Because the adversary doesn’t want us to be free from the fetters of shame, guilt or self-pity, he will want us to feel like we are unworthy of God’s love.
Thoughts will start to creep in, telling us that we are too far-gone, no one cares and “why would God have time to fix my problem.” Those thoughts are so far from the truth. God knows each and every one of us down to the number of hairs on our head. He is closer to us than our jugular vein. How else could David the Psalmist say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalms 23: 4).
Death doesn’t only come when our spirit leaves our physical body. Any type of torment can also feel like death because if we aren’t settled in our mindset, then it can feel like we are not living.
Then motivation starts to leave our body, purpose starts to leave our body, once hope starts to leave our body we are definitely in the final stages of death.
God promised to never leave us comfortless, He is reaching out His hand, simply saying: “Come unto me…” He will even seek us out when we don’t know how to save ourselves. Jesus asks in the Bible, “How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, he does not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” (Matthew 18:12-13). David pleaded unto Him saying, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek thy servant; for I do not forget Thy commandments.”
There is no trial that is too big for God to help us through. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). There is no real rest or ease from the storm of our problems, unless we put God at the helm of our ship. He is the only one who can rebuke the wind and say to the sea, “peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39).
Know that God would not give us more than we can handle. The Lord was so confident in the steadfastness and integrity of his servant Job, that He challenged Satan, asking: “ Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity…” (Job 2:3).
Even in the trials that He allowed to befall on our brother Job, not once did he denounce God, instead he declared, “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). Knowing that God is there for us brings a great flood of comfort, because even during what may feel like the eye of the storm, He is proving us to be successful. The immaculate love of God is stronger than any trial we are facing, but to be successful we must go to Him.
Paul declared: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13). We must be willing to submit to His will, and trust in His ways because His ways are higher than ours. We must honor His creation, and take the time to invest in ourselves. We must take advantage of all the resources that he has afforded to us by seeking the professional help that is needed, and taking it upon ourselves to make the necessary changes to embetter our physical, spiritual and mental health.
So as we journey into the New Year, with a magnitude of gratitude in our hearts for each new day, let us make it our ongoing goal to draw nearer to Him, His love is calling us home.
Join us for our weekly meetings every Friday at 8pm and Sunday at 11 am at The Urban Loft 2934 St. Hubert, corner of Rosemount. (Rosemount Metro).