I originally wrote this in July of 2009. Allan
During our lives we all have times when everything is clicking. Many times our youth provides us a false sense of security. Newly married. College acceptance. Meet the right person. Health is awesome. Junk food…. what’s that??!!
College graduation. Land the perfect job. You marry that perfect someone. You are a believer. You attend a church. You grow in your faith. Your first child. She sleeps through the night! God is good.
Some of us come to faith as adults in our 30’s or later. Our conversion is real. The things we were ashamed of are now forgiven by God. We’re clean and so is our slate. Our kids love church. We see changes in them. Our marriage is strong. Our bills are paid. Work is paying off after many years. Maybe even a Grandchild.
Maybe you’re single. You’re content. You date when you can. You’re busy with your job. You’re involved very much in your church. Not many expenses so you have money in the bank and you can afford to help people out when necessary. Health is strong. God is real.
What so many of those people above (maybe you) didn’t realize was it was only Monday and Friday’s coming. When Friday does arrive and nobody has prepared us things can fall apart pretty quickly. For so many their Friday came when they were still quite young and innocent. They had no chance to prepare. They suffered, as did many of the others.
Near our front door is a beam that runs at an angle up to the roof. If you happen to be in the little garden area where it’s located you want to be aware of its presence. So many times I’ve been in that garden area busy with something and as I’m walking out…. BAM!! My mind was wandering and I never saw the beam and when we made contact I lost each time. If I had only seen it coming….
These beams are going to be a part of our lives and with most of us they have already paid a visit. They come in many disguises. A broken arm that ends our little league season. The guy or girl who dumps us right before senior prom. A tragic accident that takes a loved one. Any number of serious illnesses. A lost job or worse yet, a lost home. A wayward child. Rape. Violent crimes. Betrayal. And for folks like me, mental illness.
Besides mental illness how many of the above do others blame us for? None, in most every case. Makes you feel kind of special doesn’t it. (Sarcasm intended.)
Outside of a sovereign move of God there are no quick fixes for any of the above. Having perfected the art I know the life of one in search of the quick fix.
A famous faith healer comes to town. Your friend has cancer. They attend the service and see scores of apparent miracles taking place on stage. Yet they don’t get called forward. Why not me they think as the spiral begins.
As young believers my wife and I attended one of these events in 1977. My wife had rheumatoid arthritis. Friends asked us to go. My wife went forward and was prayed over. We thought she was healed. The next month my father went. He had emphysema. He thought he was healed.
My father died 13 years ago from emphysema. My wife still has rheumatoid arthritis some 32 years later. They were conned plain and simple. Think of the multitudes who have experienced the same. Your faith can be crushed.
My quick fixes were many and at times a bit bizarre. The first was to buy all of the self help books I could and look for the steps to follow so I could be rid of something I certainly didn’t ask for or in my mind even deserve. No luck.
I tried going back to the church where I was saved once a week. Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa is the church Chuck Smith leads. The Jesus movement had roots there. God moved in huge ways. Certainly He would be there in abundance for me. I’d attend service and hit the afterglow where miracles took place. No luck.
I bought programs through the mail that focus on my illness. Many people see great results and even get better through these programs. But you gotta work hard at it. I didn’t want to work at it because I shouldn’t have to. I was an innocent victim and God was supposed to fix me. No luck.
How about waiting for your birthday and Christmas each year? Maybe God would give me my gift then? No luck.
How about dismissing God from the job and fix things yourself? I did that in spades. No luck.
I use the word luck because my solutions were just that, my solutions. And since I was this close to seeing an palm reader luck was about all I had working for me. Or so I thought.
The fact of the matter is that God never says “oops.” He’s perfect. He is not capable of making a mistake. Never has and never will. For the purpose of this article when you are visited by a mental illness the reality is there will be some very tough and rocky roads awaiting you. God will seem to have left you all alone because you were His mistake and He’s busy with the “real” Christians. Hope fades quickly. The desire to live wanes at times. Suicide seems reasonable as the pain is so great.
How I wish I could give each of us that quick fix so the suffering would end. I can’t and neither can anyone else. But God has placed people in the body who honestly care and want to help. But they can’t wave a wand and make everything okay. But they may very well be the vehicle God has chosen to work through to see His perfect will done in your life.
Mark 4:35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”
Mark 4:36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.
Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
Mark 4:38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
Mark 4:39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Mark 4:41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”
Here we have the disciples with Jesus. They had witnessed many great miracles. Jesus had said they were going to the other side. But a huge storm hit and the boat was about to go down. They were frightened and pretty much scolded Jesus as they made Him aware of their plight. Their faith was still quite small even in light of what they had already witnessed. These men were works in progress!
As we read on Jesus doesn’t chew them out and make them go to bed with no dinner. He shared the Beatitudes! He didn’t give up on his disciples. He won’t give up on us either.
God doesn’t say “oops.” He may seem asleep but He’s got the hairs of your head counted. He sees. Your prayers don’t go unheard. Your tears don’t go unnoticed.
I don’t have the answer for anyone. I’m not qualified. What I seek to offer is hope and understanding. I pray what you read here and what you look into as far as resources and information will bless you. Please don’t walk alone. Allan
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:36 As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.”
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Romans 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.