Much has changed in the six years since I wrote the following paragraphs. Some good things have happened and some not so good, but the thing that struck me right away is that the first part is no longer true. So I’m inspired to put new life into the original. I can’t say that I go around dancing for joy all the time, Bubbling emotion just isn’t in my personality. What I can say is that I no longer struggle with depression. I don’t suppose I can know that it will never come back, but I know that I am more content now than I have been since my childhood. God gets the glory for that. He is good. He is faithful. He has done what He said He would do. I put my trust in Him. He continues to add to a life that was already full of blessing.
Here begins the original from August 1, 2009.
Anyone who has been around me much or even just reads my blog entries for the past few months knows I struggle to maintain a positive attitude and often lose. I don’t like to use the word depression. I think we tend to label and medicate for conditions that are spiritual at their roots and thus never address the real problem. Someone would have to prove to me by some kind of medical test that I had a chemical imbalance and even then I would be reluctant to medicate for it. I believe that even real physical problems can result from what goes on in our hearts and minds. If I may be said to be chronically depressed, I believe the solution is in my relationship to Yahweh and not in a pill bottle.
One strategy of the last few years has been to constantly remind myself of God’s blessing in my life. Sometimes I can even make that backfire, because I feel that I’ve been given so much and I have produced so little with it. The very evidence of God’s love is twisted into a reason why He should not love me. I’ve gone there a lot lately. Yet I will choose to remember His goodness to me. I will choose gratitude over grumbling, and do my best to thank Him with both my words and my deeds.
I am not sure where to start. Can one rank His many favors? Unquestionably, the best is the sacrifice of Jesus. At least in this country most everyone has heard the quote from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (NASU) In its ubiquity we lose its full impact. The creator of the universe loved His seemingly insignificant creation so much that He came as one of us to live and die an unimaginably horrible death so that we might live with Him forever. Even His persecutors, had they repented, would be embraced as evidenced by His prayer, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) I wouldn’t be surprised if we met one or two of them in Heaven. All we need to do is be willing to love Him back in the same way, giving Him our lives in return. He made the first move. We just need to respond. If he never did another thing for us, what could compare to that? Yet like spoiled children we always want more and throw fits when we don’t get it. His love and patience are beyond description.
He didn’t stop in my family. I don’t know how it began on Mom’s side. All I’ve ever known is a family full of preachers and preachers’ wives. In Dad’s family it was a bit more recent. I thank God frequently for stepping into his life while he was still a teenager and bringing redemption to the whole family. I got a dad and a mom of the highest character who both love Jesus and taught their children to do the same. Though none of us has been without a few missteps along the way, we are all learning to love Him too. I can think of no greater blessings than these two, and it brings me joy to tell of them.
I’ve already written at some length of the wisdom of my parents in the way they raised me. I won’t brag on them too much more here, but I can’t list the greatest blessings in my life and leave that out. For teaching me to be all that I can be and never making my blindness an obstacle, I owe them a debt that cannot be repaid. I have seen what happens when children with disabilities are hobbled by well meaning parents who do everything for them and never allow them to grow up. Many go through life effectively retarded not by any mental deficiency of their own, but by the environment in which they were raised. My parents showed surpassing wisdom in this as well as other aspects of my upbringing. I am inspired to help other parents and children receives the same benefit, though I have not found an outlet for this yet.
That one such as I could find someone to love and be loved by is still amazing to me, but she’s right there in the next room as I write this. I still question whether it should have happened. I am not worthy of such a blessing. Yet there she is, and I appreciate her more and more as time goes by.
All of this is taking place in a country that despite its problems remains the best place in the world to live. I pray that we return to Yahweh as a nation before that changes, but I fear it is already too late. As I pray, I thank Him for putting me here. The neediest among us live in luxury compared to the majority of the world’s population. We still for the most part have the freedom to worship Him as we choose. We can still boldly speak His name and proclaim His salvation. I urge you to use and protect that freedom by first sharing the good news and also by voting thoughtfully.
I thank the Lord also for the time in which I live. Never has there been so much opportunity. The life I enjoy would not have been possible even just a few decades ago. I write this from a computer that speaks the words I cannot see, and I use the same technology to make my living.
So I find myself rejoicing this morning for all the good that God has done. I am blessed beyond measure, and there is a purpose in it. I am blessed that I may be a blessing to others. In so doing I will find even greater reward. My hope is that even in this writing I will encourage you to reflect on what God has given to you and to find ways to share it with those around you.