So Much Depends on the Weather

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Bridgehaven Team, Chris Ball | 0 comments

“And I feel, so much depends on the weather.”

Scott Weiland

 

As I sit at home, entrapped by another apocalyptic snowfall occurrence in the South, my mind is drawn to the extent our moods are impacted by the weather. According to the DSM-V, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a subcategory of major depression that repeats occurrence cyclically with the seasons, and usually during the fall/winter months. Why does this happen?

 

Scripture does not delve into detail of the biological process (or lack thereof) in mood disorders. However, Scripture does paint us a rich, poetic portrait of how God designed humans, and how we are meant to function in creation as made in His image.

 

Genesis 1:4

And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

 

As God creates light for the world, he separates it from darkness. He forms order from disorder. There is an inherent goodness about the light distinct from the dark. In fact, God describes light as ruling over dark. This authority is much akin to the way humanity rules over creation. People are designed to care for or protect creation, as well as to steward and cultivate creation. In the same way light brings order to the void of darkness.

 

Genesis 1:16-18

And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

 

Throughout the Scriptures, there is a theme of sight in relation to the Lord and His ways. This is figurative language that points to the spiritual reality that as our faith grows our capacity to see clearly increases. Our accurate vision of God is directly correlated to our likeness to God.

 

1 John 3:2

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

 

So we see this pattern throughout the mega-narrative of Scripture that God develops and refines people and creation through light. It allows us to participate more authentically in relationship with God, other people, creation, and even ourselves as we see and interpret reality more truthfully.

1 Thessalonians 5:5

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

 

So how does this play into the surge of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Well when think about the impact of the fall and winter seasons there is literally a deficiency of light in certain parts of the world depending upon the location. Dr. Peter Van Dyck shares his theory that civilization started in the Middle East, which hosts a radically different climate than North America. This like all things is by design. Humans could soak up sufficient amounts of sunlight. As civilization spread throughout the world, humanity began to experience shifts in intensity of light throughout the year due to location on earth and proximity to the sun. Combine sun deficiency due to geographic climate with the industrial and technological revolutions in the last couple of centuries, and humans (in developed countries) now work and stay indoors more than ever before.

 

Job 10:22

the land of gloom like thick darkness,

like deep shadow without any order

 

While obviously lack of contact with sunlight is not a causal relationship to Seasonal Affection Disorder, it certainly makes sense as a factor. This biblical theme of light connected with order and conversely darkness with disorder clearly depicts for us God’s design for people see clearly so that they can more effectively love.

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