“A sound mind.” For some of us that doesn’t seem remotely possible. Over the years we personally have reason to believe this is not real. As mentally ill people we seem to think that we can’t be this way. We think that maybe this applies to normal people, and certainly not me (2 Tim. 1:7).
But it is a gift. That’s important to note. (Just as eternal life is a gift.) I can’t earn it; nor can I generate it up. It must be simply acknowledged and received as a bonus for being a sinner who believes. Sanity is not a fixed condition, but rather a definite process we make. Some of us maybe healthier than others. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are told that our amazing salvation (!) includes:
- an amazing love,
- incredible power,
- and a sound (healthy) mind.
These three are a gift from God. You don’t buy a gift, nor do you earn it. Rather it comes from someone who loves you (!) and only wants to bless. We may have issues, but the Spirit is sound and lucid.
The healthy mind is a mind without any sick or crippling deficiencies. It is a mind that is vigorous and robust. For those of us who struggle with a mental illness this is astonishingly good news. And it may very well be that you are impaired; but even then you’re given a strength.
My own experience is that the Holy Spirit is working, with my meds, to ‘hold me’ in a good place. Just as a diabetic must take insulin, so I need to take my antidepressant. The brain is an organ that can get sick also. We live in a fallen and broken world.
Grace does heal many, but some of us find ‘weakness’ becoming our real strength.
The very presence of the Holy Spirit is what enables. Broken believers are coming to see that their illnesses are helping them to be weak enough for God to use. “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” 2 Cor. 3:5, NLT
Some thoughts that have helped me out:
“Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives.“
— Michael Yaconelli
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold [‘kintsukuroi’]. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.”