Bless This Mess!

Have you ever seen a tongue in cheek petition like the one on the left displayed in the home of someone you know? Have you ever felt as if those words might be a pretty fair description of your own circumstances?

I know I have!

Sometimes the pace of the work in progress known to me as my spiritual life seems painfully slow or to even be moving in the wrong direction!Named among my numerous transgressions are things such as mean spiritedness or being judgmental and becoming quickly irritated or impatient with people or things I interact with daily. As much as I don’t like those aspects of my personality, what’s far more disturbing to me is my own tolerance,nay comfort with them!

It’s a bit of a mess…

One the most difficult,and yet most important things about being a follower of Christ I’ve struggled with is how a Holy God could love a very un-holy sinner like me…There are exceptions, but for the most part Love as I’ve been able to understand it is about deserving or qualifying for it in some way.In this world we pick winners and losers,we analyze and judge people constantly choosing to love in others the “good” aspects we recognize in ourselves. At it’s core it’s selfish and based on lies fed to us via our own personal self-exhalation express the ego. We rationalize their validity based on societal dogma, which is nicely packaged and fed to us under headings such as self esteem and positive affirmation. The truth is the only real basis for “self” esteem any of us can actually claim is that we’re loved by our omnipotent Heavenly Father!

That’s it!

That’s our “claim to fame”

And it’s much more than enough!

Why?

Because it’s a claim that’s based on something real, real because it’s unthreatenable! It doesn’t change or cease to be for any reason. All of the things we esteem in this world will fade away or can be lost in an instant, but NOT Gods love!

Recently I read a status on FB which said that God works through imperfect people and circumstances to accomplish His purposes. My reply was,

“Is there any other kind?”

Our Father loves each of us Just the way we are…

Warts and all

But He loves us too much to just leave us that way!

His death on the cross was a victory over sin and death that was done on our behalf, that we may have eternal life. I also believe that the power of His shed blood gives Christian’s the opportunity to claim that victory over their own here and now life circumstances

Truly, we’re all a bit of a mess!

How wonderful is it then,that…

 Jesus is the Great Mess-iah!!

Who’s To Say?

I’m big on remembering quips, quotes, “sayings”, or expressions.

Recently I was reminded of this one:

“Who’s to say that the rantings of a madman aren’t actually

the clear vision of the only sane man left.”

image

That got me to thinking about how I see the issues of depression and anxiety. Among the various therapies and methods of helping people who complain of these symptoms, one strategy is to help them to “move on.” Another is to help them sort out why what they’re feeling is perhaps irrational.  Depression is primarily a reaction to loss, one of it’s most common symptoms is hopelessness. Can I honestly try to sell people on the idea that there’s sufficient reason to be hopeful in this world? Anxiety is a high energy emotion that’s based in fear. There are indeed a lot of scary things in this world that can happen to people that we’re powerless to stop. What advice can I possibly offer anyone that can truly nullify this prospect?

Please understand that I’m not attempting to make any definitive statements about helping people with emotional problems, I’m only examining the “reality of perception” people seem to operate in.

What I’m talking about here are average people who’ve suffered belief system crashes that left them traumatized and erroneously conditioned to react with anxiety and depression out of a perceived necessity for self preservation.

What if anything can I say? Explaining to people that their need to hold onto the “self” or “ego” and the resultant realization of their powerlessness in controlling circumstances are at the root of their depression and anxiety?

Sure, but what will I do with the other 45 minutes?

In the absence of having God in our lives we tend to stand in for Him and do the job ourselves, and it is rough territory!

Have you got all of the bases covered? What if,what if, what if?

“I’m such a failure, I couldn’t control the circumstances of my life completely, I should just give up!”

Can you see what I mean about “who’s to say” yet?

If I told you everything bad that was going to happen to you for the rest of your life how do you think you’d handle it?

I think most people might resemble the “mad man” I referred to previously.

What if instead, I showed you in Gods word that while you may go through all of the things in your life I previously mentioned, that not only would everything work out great in the end but that you would have peace available to you in the midst of all of it. Would that calm you down? Would it allow you to see the events and circumstances of your life from the perspective of what you gained from them instead of what you’ve lost?

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad. (NKJV)

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

“Anxiety disorders, like many other conditions, are an example of normal responses that appear at inappropriate times”.

Faced with everything that’s going on in this world we live in and all of the personal challenges that each of us are going through everyday, I guess what I’m wondering is what would constitute justifiable grounds for depression and anxiety?

Although I’ve perhaps got grounds to, I don’t feel depressed or anxious about my personal situation, nor do I feel that way about the future of our world. But I can absolutely understand how someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or someone who doesn’t know Him as their Savior might! Some people may think I’m wrong not to be “overly concerned” but then, who’s to say right?