“For my life is full of troubles,
and death draws near.”
Not really ‘positive’ is it? There is often a very dull, desperate tedium that saturates our lives–especially those among us with profound mental and physical issues. It never lets up, the grind is constant. Depression, confusion, paranoia, and mania weave in and out of our lives. Sometimes they seem to have ‘moved in’ with us. (And, they intend to stay.)
There can be a hopelessness present–an ugly realization that there is no hope for today, and that tomorrow will not be any different. Some consider ending it all–rather than continue without hope. It is a terrible way to live, but hopelessness isn’t something humans can handle appropriately.
Contained in the scriptures are many stories and parables about wedding feasts and the king’s banquets. On one occasion, somebody ‘finagles’ his way into the party. But it is then he is strongly confronted. The bouncers bind his hands and feet, carry him out. He is thrown out into the “outer darkness.” The charge prompting this was his attire, it was all wrong. He wasn’t dressed for the wedding. He did not belong there.
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:11-14, ESV
Many have given in to their despair, they now reside in “the outer darkness.” They are no longer dressed for the banquet. They’ve stripped themselves of their wedding garments. How tragic. They have given up.
I’ll be the first to admit that mental illness and discipleship don’t always blend well together. But the Father understands and increases his deposit of grace to make up for this deficiency. He doesn’t treat his beloved sons equally. Extra grace is given to the chronically ill.
Those who limp are given extra help as they follow Him.
God has created us for a wedding feast. And it is with confidence that we look forward to this feast, for in Christ we will not be found naked but clothed in the white garments of His righteousness. He took my dirty and filthy clothes and exchanged them for his own white ones. We wear his gift, and oh, what a wonder we are!
It’s time to get dressed.
“I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me in the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit
or a bride with her jewels.”
Isaiah 61:10, NLT