Into the Unknown

Into the unknown–a lot could be gleaned from the phrase, but that’s kind of where I am this week. It’s like I’m on the top of a cliff with the precipice crumbling which means I have no choice, but to jump. The unknown is not one of my favorite places to be as I’m sure it is with a lot of you. In our society, people take pride in being prepared, in knowing what’s going to happen. Their hearts and minds are settled if they have prepared for every contingency. But a lot of times, we don’t know what’s going to happen.  And, if we are being honest, we don’t like being in the position of not knowing what’s going to happen.

Back in Biblical times though, when Jesus came on the scene, He was the unknown. The people around Him and the Jewish establishment didn’t know what to expect either.  They didn’t expect His grace, His love, the sacrifice He ended up making for all of us.  His disciples didn’t expect their worlds would be entirely changed when He asked them to follow Him and then didn’t expect to change the world themselves through what they had to share of His love and His grace.  I’ve been a professed Christian for a long time, but I am still learning more and more of this every day.

The unknown is a scary place. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say the circumstances I am in right now are scary. But, I know my Lord and Savior has me in the palm of His hand, and I just need to trust that He will provide. The lyrics of the song Oceans by Hillsong United demonstrate this aptly.

“You call me out upon the waters/The great unknown where feet may fail/And there I find You in the mystery/In oceans deep/ My faith will stand

“And I will call upon Your name/And keep my eyes above the waves/When oceans rise/My soul will rest in Your embrace/For I am Yours and You are mine

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters/Your sovereign hand/Will be my guide/Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me/You’ve never failed and You won’t stop now

“So I will call upon Your name/And keep my eyes above the waves/When oceans rise/My soul will rest in Your embrace/ For I am Yours and You are mine

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders/Let me walk upon the waters/ Wherever You would call me/ Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/ And my faith will be made stronger/ In the presence of my Savior

“I will call upon Your name/ Keep my eyes above the waves/ My soul will rest in Your embrace/ I am Yours and You are mine”

God’s blessings on all of you today!

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Depression

Over the last few days, a lot has been said about this subject with the death of actor Robin Williams by suicide. It’s an important subject to shed light on as talking about mental health tends to be one of the last taboos in society, even in Christian circles.  Why is that? Why is an illness of the mind not considered to be as important as an illness of the body? We pray for people to be healed of cancer, of heart disease. Of any other physical disease you can think of that affects members of the population. But we don’t pray for people to be healed of depression.  Why? I think some Christian blogs over the past few days answer that question, most notably Matt  Walsh’s blog. When I read the blog, I flinched and not in a good way. But, of course, I had experienced this before so it was not a surprise.  There are some Christians who don’t believe depression is an illness. They believe that any Christian who is suffering from depression is not praying to God enough, is not relying on God enough, and in some cases, not a true Christian.

That is absolutely not the case! But, before I go any further, I know some of you will say that suicide is a choice. Yes, of course, it is a choice.  It is a choice that is very painful for the ones left behind since they don’t really know…why.  Why the person didn’t reach out for help for their depression. Of course, no one knows what was going on in Robin Williams’ head. But, for the question, why do people not reach out for help, I might be slightly qualified to answer that one.  I have thought about suicide, have thought of how easy it would be not to have to suffer anymore.  And I have been on medication in the past for my depression.  So, why do people not reach out? Well, in some cases, I think they do, but I think they’re also told or left with the impression that what they have said is not important or of value, that what they feel is not a reasonable thing to be upset about. And then, there are some people who don’t reach out, who think the world would be better off without them. I think both groups have an equal chance of going through with the final deed.

What prevents people like this from going through with it?  Because of the focus of this blog, you would be correct in thinking  I would say a relationship with God is important. But, more than that, it is important for Christians who suffer with depression to have a supportive community around them.  To be properly medicated if they need it and most especially not to be told that what they are thinking and feeling is of no consequence.  I know God has not abandoned me, and He has not abandoned other Christians who suffer from depression either.

God’s blessings on you all today!

Vocabulary of Faith

I’ve learned so many words and phrases this past year which have become a part of my vocabulary of faith. Words that I am beginning to truly understand. Words such as peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Divine courage, courage which does not mean fear is absent. It just means you proceed with doing whatever you’re afraid of despite the fear because you know God is there to give you strength. And, living in community. This is the big one. My church has taught me there are groups of Christians out there who are doing what God has called them to do. To love each other, to help each other. Showing grace and not judgment. We are not perfect; we are broken, but we love each other, and that’s what counts. It’s what being a follower of Jesus is all about.

God’s blessings on all of you today!