Saturday, March 17, 2007

no pain, no gain

In the way of Christ, as we seek to follow, we may experience seasons that might be described as devilish, desert times. I'm talking about times beyond distress and grief. Times where you think you have little or no foothold. That you're slipping and sliding. And besides that, lost, or at least "up in arms", buffeted by the winds and waves of the trial.

For me, this has been in the category of mind issues. But the root is from the ground of poisonous fear. Which becomes a paralyzing, deadening and debilitating fear. Keeping my mind in a fog. This kept hitting me in waves for years. And I couldn't seem to break from it for very long.

Just recently I was hit anew with it again. Through good influence in reading and practice (from Scot McKnight, and I'm sure, others), I would be mumbling psalms, as much as possible through that. And the Lord brought me through. To end up on a higher ground on the issue that troubled me, and greatly affected me, nearly daily, in the past. So that I am in a better place, on the issue, latent as I thought it was, and resolved, more or less (certainly improved)- finding that through this experience, in God, I would be brought to a better place. I told my faithful, good wife about it, who has no such problems, so she would pray. Now on that issue, only by God's grace, and dependent on God all the time in it, I am in a better place. (I could say why, but I won't go into that. Not the point, here.) A little redundant, but I want to get this across.

The point? We need to be open to go through those times when we feel the weakest, when we're struggling to connect with God and others (of course, that's ongoing, in some degree, as we seek to live out our life in God found in Christ). When devilish and desert might come to mind as our experience. In the end finding, that to hold on to God is enough. And to do so, more and more together. As those in community with God in Christ, in mission to the world.

What comes to mind as to your own experience, or own thoughts on this, you'd like to share with us here?

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