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Worst Day of the Year
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. HABAKKUK 3:18
If you woke up feeling especially blah this morning, you're in good company. January 24 is now officially "the most depressing day of the year." Those are the findings of Dr. Cliff Arnall, an English psychologist who specializes in seasonal disorders at the University of Cardiff in Wales. His formula for analyzing such things includes seven variables—the weather, personal debt, monthly salary and even the amount of time since Christmas, among other things—that determine people's feelings of happiness.
He figures January 24 is when credit-card bills start rolling in, reminding us how we got carried away again with our holiday spending. By now many of our New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside or at least been riddled with pockets of compromise.
Maybe he's right. Maybe you really are feeling it today. But what Dr. Arnall may not understand is that our joy and contentment doesn't have to be taken away by the bleak clouds of winter or the long wait until our next vacation. As followers of Christ, a settled sense of well-being and belonging can be ours no matter what our set of circumstances.
Hear again the words of a man who knew what to do with a January 24 kind of feeling: "Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength" (Habakkuk 3:17-19). God is there with you every day of the year.
Maybe this would be a good time to get a jump on Thanksgiving. Talk about everything there is to rejoice in, make a list of things you are thankful for, even on a day that may be blah.
Take turns giving thanks to God. Praise is one of the most important elements of worship and in experiencing God in our lives.