The Right Perspective
I don't feel like writing this. I don't feel like doing much
of anything except maybe hiding under my covers right now. The thing is I just
don't have time to indulge my emotions. Can you identify?
The scripture gives us some very important advice and
lessons about bringing in to captivity our thoughts, about renewing our mind
and about walking by faith and not by sight. One of the most important things I
have learned over my years of missions service is that the quicker I can get
control over my mind and emotions (by the grace of God), the more enjoyable my life and my service are.
It's when I feel like I have a right to feel sorry for myself or that somehow I
deserve to be depressed that I ultimately get myself into trouble both mentally
Recently, I was asked to give counsel to a young woman. She
had a good job, was deeply loved by her parents and was in good health,
although she had recently recovered from a badly sprained ankle.
She had fallen into depression and had become
dissatisfied with her job and felt her co-workers were unkind and were "out to
get her". The problem was that this exact same scenario had played out before
just a few years earlier. She had changed jobs only to find herself in the
exact same position but now with a whole different group of people. As she talked I kept trying to guide her back
to her relationship with the Lord. Finally,
she admitted that she had grown cold in her love for the Lord and as I kept
probing for the root of her depression, she admitted that she was holding God
responsible for her sprained ankle and the months it took her to get full
recovery of her foot. She was angry with God.
She was angry about her foot, angry about her job and co-workers. In
essence, she felt like she had gotten the raw end of the deal with God. She wanted to put all the blame on God and
take no responsibility for her own actions. She tearfully repented before the
Lord as we prayed together.
As I was leading her out of the room we passed our baby
nursery. In that moment, I know God spoke to me to take this young woman in to
see one our sleeping baby girls. I quietly unsnapped three month old Rebecca's
footy pajamas to reveal her perfect little calf and foot. The young woman who had been smiling at the
precious sleeping baby gasped as I exposed Rebecca's foot.
"I think you need a little perspective." I said, as she
stared at Rebecca's leg.
I told her, "This baby was born without a femur and she has
no knee. God did not "do" this to her. Nor did he make her mother abandon her
by leaving her in a box in the middle of a market. But I want to tell you what He
did do for her; he rescued her by bringing her to our home where she will get
the very best treatment that we can find for her. A home where she is loved, nurtured and where
she will eventually come to discover Him for herself. When you are tempted to
feel sorry for yourself because of your ankle please remember how blessed you
are that you have two legs that function."
Maybe this letter finds you today in a place where you have
let your emotions take over your life. And yes, perhaps you have suffered
greatly and there are "reasons" for your depression, anger, sadness or
bitterness. I just want to remind you that Christ has paid such a tremendous
price for you to be able to walk in victory. His promises and his counsels are
true and if we put into practice what His word says we can overcome all things
through Christ who strengthens us. Even our feelings.
"Making a world of difference, one life at a time"