(Note: Many of you've read this blog and may not want too again but I hope you listen to the song added. When first written, I didn't know how to import songs, this is a favorite many years andseems to be a recurring thread in many writings the past weeks. Hope it ministers to you as much as it has me.)
Reading your comments on "Christians, Mental Illness and Job Description", you brought tears to my eyes. Paul considered his sufferings” light afflictions” while beaten and shipwrecked three times, also stoned and left for dead (II Cor. 4, II Cor. 11).
I read of great trials and suffering many of you are living with or have been through. I thought why (did) do I complain so quickly and much? Easy, I don't want God to reveal my selfishness and wicked heart. I want what I want...
Like crowds following Jesus, they sought Him only for their wants to be met (including the 500 disciples in John 6). Seekers of signs, miracles and wonders (John 4) until things got tough.
After years of praying ('complaining'), fasting, “believing,” etc. for healing, God showed me what I didn't want to see. Firmly but tenderly as only The Holy Spirit can do, God revealed I really wanted healing more than Him.
Ashamed and humbled, I was befuddled by this gracious freedom and love as truth pierced my heart's true nature. I didn't want “spiritual and right” healing (as by God's design and timing). Rather, selfish, sinful and wicked healing like a spoiled child, wanting healing now!
God seized the opening, to reveal hard truth and continued the process of true inner healing through continuing to form me into the likeness of His Son (Phil. 1:6). In the midst of unwelcomed truth, the sense of enveloping and abiding love surrounded!
If God loved me while yet a sinner and not interested in His Kingdom, I shouldn't be amazed He would love me right through all those selfish “prayers” (demands) for healing but still am. I'd be one of the nine lepers who didn't return (Luke 17). Excited, finally got what I wanted, off on my way I go!
I remain amazed daily how much God unconditionally loves me! Unconditionally, God continues to love me through Jesus. God pursued me in great lengths, over decades, removing blinders of selfish sin and want. All while “disguised” in the pursuit of good spiritual gifts.
It's clear now, life as a disciple of Christ decades down the road is no different than the first day I came to Him. The Christian life is not lived in my strength and was never intended so. Rather, not I living life for it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20).
Now, I'll try to comfort those with the comfort I've received (II Cor. 1:4) though told point blank,” until I'm healed I have no ministry to others with similar afflictions (mental illness), as all Christians who have faith scripture says should be healed” .
Through his grace and love, I now try walking daily as one seeing life must be lived as one overcoming (Rom. 8:28 – 39) in Christ. Then others may be comforted. On this, I rest and put my trust in Christ Jesus.