TRAVELING MERCIES [The Journey]

Things can get pretty grim just living life.  But add a disability, and suddenly blam! It gets worse.  A mental illness intensifies life, and the weird concoction of symptoms and hospitals, therapists and medications and family/friends is a bit daunting for anyone. Imagine, that it’s a bit like running through the wilderness slathered in ‘bacon grease,’ trying to stay ahead from the bears (I’m writing this from Alaska, hence the bear imagery, lol.)

My walk with Jesus has extreme variations (at least, on my part.)  I’m up, and then I’m down.  I’m on fire and then I’m cold.  I struggle to attempt at least a modicum of consistency, wishing I could just put two ‘good days’ together.  I am ashamed by this volatility.  The apostle Peter, or David are probably the only guys in scripture I can really understand.

The impulsivity of my mental illness has driven me to turn my credit cards over to Lynn.  I try to avoid liquor stores, porn sites, and urges to strip off my clothes and run down Pioneer Avenue.  I definitely try to go to Church, read the Bible and pray.  But I have been known to hallucinate, I hear things, and get awfully paranoid.  I’m always, it seems just one step ahead of my psychiatrist in avoiding the hospital.  (And I want to keep it that way.) And suicidality is an almost real monster– always lurking for me under my bed.

But I have also learned many other things from being a mentally ill believer:

  • When its really dark, His love always comes through. He understands me. He intentionally ‘looks’ for me. He’ll never quit on me.
  • My discipleship is not about the externals of my theology, but it’s about romance from my heart.
  • In my pathetic brokenness, He is my strength and my shield. Always.
  • Worship and prayer are more like invasive “medical procedures” that keep me alive.
  • Love. I’m learning to be kinder and more aware of others then ever before.
  • I want to live in the Light and respond to others in Christlike way. Never out of my fallen sinfulness.

I suppose I could add more, if I thought about it.  Ultimately, it all comes down to the presence of Jesus Christ coming to meet me, to forgive me and to change me.  This simple blog is saturated with posts that other Brokenbelievers can wade through, and some just might help, lol.

It’s time to slide!

The title of this post alludes to a quote I found. I’ve gently modified it. Not sure where I found it. But it gives the explanation for all that I’ve said:

“Life should NOT be a journey to heaven with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
with bruises and band-aids, and some tears as well, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming…
“WOO HOO what a ride!”

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From Spiritual Self-Destruction

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A Very Simple and Honest Prayer

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Change me.
God, please change me.
Though I cringe
Kick
Resist and resent
Pay no attention to me whatever.
When I run to hide
Drag me out of my safe little shelter.
Change me totally
Whatever it takes
However long You must work at the job.
Change me– and save me
From spiritual self-destruction. Amen.

Ruth Harms Calkin

6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Philippians 1:6, NLT

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Pathetic Has an Upside

 

“And this is the reason: God lives forever and is holy. He is high and lifted up. He says, “I live in a high and holy place…

(pause for emphasis)

but I also live with people who are sad and humble. I give new life to those who are humble and to those whose hearts are broken.”

Isaiah 57:15, NCV

There is no exception, or absolutely no reasoning over this.  Simply put, God is holy and that He lives forever.  That is beyond dispute.  He simply penetrates everything, He is the “first cause” and exercises complete authority over all, and anything that has had any existence whatsoever.  He is all sustaining and completely powerful. This is just basic truth, and these simple ideas woven together, produce some mighty fine theology.

But even with all this, He has a high density love for the desperate.  He searches us out, and tries to find those who know they are pathetically weak.  He has a deep penchant and preference for those who have nothing.  Astonishing?– Yes, but this I admit– stretches me.

When Jesus came, it was not to teach an elegant philosophy, and to be praised by men. But rather it was to find lost people.  He was like a special forces team dropped in a jungle, to rescue prisoners in an evil and dark concentration camp.  He came for anyone who would believe in Him.  Essentially, He provided a salvation for anyone who would take it.  But you have to be desperate, and weak, and pretty much pathetic. The mentally and physically ill are favored by His grace.

Hearts that’ve been broken have an instant attraction to Him.  You see, He collects flawed hearts, He thirsts for those who have been wounded or ashamed.  If ever you have felt this way, Jesus is already moving towards you, and not away.  The broken and humble of this world will always have a dedicated advocate and Savior in Him.  We only have to ask. He is an excellent public defender.

When we stand in the desperate place, way beyond any kind of help, He comes. And then He exercises real power and authority to release us.  He rescues us when no one, or nothing could.  Some question that all this talk about Jesus, that there might be a sense that it could be overly excessive or misguided.  But when you face the stark reality of being terribly lost, your Savior becomes pretty significant.

I like this verse, it seems to contain much that I need today. It fortifies my soul, and keeps me straight. It’s like God’s multivitamin for my heart. I hope it blesses you as well.

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Becoming a Gentle & Meek Person

Being very gentle with others

Being very gentle with others

Gentleness means recognizing that the world around us is fragile, especially other people. It is recognizing our own capacity to do harm and choosing instead to be tender, soft-spoken, soft-hearted, and careful. To be careful means that you are becoming aware.

Perhaps this idea of becoming careful brings us the closest.  People who know exactly who they are become the most gentle of human beings.  They now live for others, and show a deep-seated care for even the “least.”

Jesus was gentle just as much as He is strong and wise and bold. You could say He was always gentle, even when He was bold and authoritative. No once did Jesus show unkindness in His words or teaching or actions. He was kind all the time, even when He was tired and hungry.

20 “He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
21 And his name will be the hope
of all the world.”

Matthew 12:20-21, NLT

 

“The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority.  Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself.  He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life.  He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels.  In himself, nothing; in God, everything.  That is his motto.”                                                

 A.W. Tozer

“The higher people are in the favor of God, the more tender they are.” 

Martin Luther

“Perhaps no grace is less prayed for, or less cultivated than gentleness.  Indeed it is considered rather as belonging to natural disposition or external manners, than as a Christian virtue; and seldom do we reflect that not to be gentle is sin.” 

Norman Bethune

“Gentleness is an active trait, describing the manner in which we should treat others.  Meekness is a passive trait, describing the proper Christian response when others mistreat us.” 

Jerry Bridges

 

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