Circus performers have my enthusiastic admiration– especially the tightrope walkers! They move with such grace and courage. Their work above the crowds must be perfect, or else. I don’t even want to consider their failure. (I hope they can bounce).
To be a mentally ill or disabled Christian is just as formidable. We must walk out our condition 24/7, 365 days a year. It is relentless. We struggle with a weakness that pits us against symptoms and gravity of a spiritual kind. We get little support from others– sometimes criticism. It often is a very solitary feeling. We are often overlooked or scorned.
My particular rope is bipolar depression. Everyday I mount up and walk out on to it, holding my breath. I still fall a lot, but have a good safety net, and the Holy Spirit is my strength. Losing my balance happens. I pick myself up and climb up the ladder for another go at it.
There is a stigma to having weakness or disabilities. Things are usually ‘slanted’ against us. We are not truly welcomed in many venues, even the Church, I grant you that. In 2 Cor. 12 we catch the higher perspective.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God’s program includes my weakness– it actually demands it! Sometimes we chose to seek a deliverance or a healing at the expense of the Kingdom. Scripture over and over tells us that the Lord uses weakness. That’s when it’s best.
“In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us.”
2 Corinthians 1:9-11, NLT
We must rely on God. It is His “job” to keep us, repeatedly. So day by day I “walk the line.” My meds are my balance pole, and I don’t need any special attention. I do whatever the day brings, and even that is from His hand.
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”
Colossians 3:2, NLT
“We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come.”
Life is brief. We are here, living out an existence that is just a moment in time. This life is just a dot on a piece of paper, while eternity is a line that doesn’t ever end. Paul writes to the church in Colossae to prepare them for the eternal; he desires that they live their lives with a mind set on heaven.
We are to view this as a short stay in a seedy ‘two-star hotel,’ not putting any emphasis in trying (hopefully) to get an upgrade. Our stay will be brief, and rather than trying to be content and make the best of it, Paul encourages us to focus on our real home that is just a few days away.
Sometimes, it’s like we are arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We have been repeatedly told to prepare for the lifeboat, but we persist in trying to spruce things up on the deck. And the reality is that we should be headed for the rafts. The ship is going down.
From our childhood we have been taught to shut down our thirst for eternal things. We have learned to stifle any longing for the things that are permanent. Life is geared for those who make the most of the moment, and live in the temporary. And it seems we have been duped into believing it all ends when we die. How horrifyingly sad.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.”
Brokenbelievers.com will remain a dedicated site for those physically or mentally ill and all “who are following Jesus with a limp.” We’ll strive to present teaching that is relevant to those who struggle with their discipleship.
Lambfollowers.com is brand new (launched in December) and is meant to be a more general “devotional” site. It’s being a take off of Revelation 14:4, “These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”
Hopefully you’ll keep visiting both sites and be blessed in your walk with Jesus.
P.S, Any questions or comments, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several years have passed, and I mark out each day with a silent wish. I look across the road and I see something that doesn’t belong. A tree that is hideous; a tree beyond any kind of symmetry, a tree that is very ugly. It’s beyond any kind of redemption. It is bad, and needs to be cut down. It is an eyesore.
When I see it, I’m aggravated. It never, ever really belongs. I dream of sneaking past the road and chopping it down. I want it to fall. Why should it blight my eyes? Why should I allow it to obstruct my view of the wonderful mountains? It is all wrong. (I rejoice at every wind-storm.)
But sometimes, God will speak to me through the “Ugly Tree.” There is a moment when we just might see something beyond the normal. It stands, because He made it so. Could not the Father have made it His “visual aid” just for me?
In my own personal sin and twistedness, could I be the spiritual version of “the ugly tree?”
Could the cross of Jesus be “the ugly tree?” The place where He absorbed all our sin?
Both seem to be relevant to me.
As I type this I’m looking across the road. Maybe it should stay as it reminds me of who I am and how much the cross means to me. Perhaps it should stay.