“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered….” Rom 4:7, ESV
It has not been my practice on this blog to hide my faults. Instead I have endeavored to make my spiritual growth a public matter. I do not detail everything, of course, choosing instead to include those things that I feel would be of the most help to other “mindful disciples.”
I have written before about the fact that I have struggled with depression since Junior High School. To the best of my knowledge, there was no “trigger event,” no obvious reason why this became a fact of life for me. “Back in the day” there weren’t any ad campaigns encouraging people to seek help. I probably wouldn’t have if there were. It was a dark secret of which I was ashamed.
Over the years, and particularly lately, I have spent a lot of time trying to see myself from the outside in, rather than introspectively. I’ve tried to recognize events in my life, good and bad, as things that have shaped me and positioned me to be able to help others in ways that not everyone can. I’m learning to see how God has uniquely crafted me to help others who might not otherwise have listened to someone who has always had it all together.
I’m learning to see that I am blessed.
The fact of the matter is that even if I never perceived that I had received anything else in life as blessings, the fact that my sins are forgiven is proof positive that I am indeed blessed! But I haven’t always had that revelation. It has taken me a lot of years of feeling broken and alone to realize how truly blessed I have really been.
I know some of you have been where I have been, and are thinking that I’ve been hit in the head too many times. But let me assure you—despite several head injuries—I am thinking most clearly. I don’t mean to suggest that God has been orchestrating a life of pain for me or you. But scripture is clear that God uses people who have been shaped by life events for His glory. We need not look any further than the apostle Paul.
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-30
Our primary quote was written by the same man who endured all of those things! If anyone had reason to feel as though everything was against him it was Paul. And he ended up writing half of the New Testament. Incredible!
Obviously there is no way that I could convince anyone in 500 words that despite the way you may have negatively perceived things in your life that, in Christ, you are most assuredly blessed. But my hope is that someone reading this will be touched enough by what I’ve said to reach out. I’m not a counselor or psychologist. I can’t offer medical advice. But I can listen. I can share my heart and my experience with Jesus.
Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email (check out the “About” section of my site) if you have been touched or would like to share your story and find the blessing in your life.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!
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