On The Other Side
Like so many, the past year has been rough for our family. Especially in the area of mental health. There were days when all we could do was cling to Jesus. Many days all I could do was cry out and be thankful for Romans 8:26-27
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Romans 8:26 ESV
We are mostly on the other side of those issues. Cue Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out Of the Dark”. I thank God for the care of some awesome school and professional counselors.
And, as is so often the case, I can look back and see God’s tender mercies. His constant protection. And His provision working through the generosity of others. So many people came along side us and I can never say thank you enough. So many things I had to say and ask for that were always met with love. Only God can create hearts like that.
On this side, I am throughly enjoying the growth the darkness brought. I see so much maturity, empathy, care and clarity. I see thriving. I see confidence and no compromise. I see understand of self and others. I see choices that protect mental health and shuts down negativity. I see laughter and fun and friendship. Loneliness is gone. Only God can do that.
In Job 1, everything has been taken from Job. His children were dead. His animals, the source of his wealth were gone. Let’s see how Job reacted
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Job 1:20-22 NIV
Job mourned. Then he praised God. He trusted the Lord. Throughout most of Job, we hear Job’s friends giving him advice they think is from God. They urge him to repent of whatever sin has caused God’s wrath. Finally in chapter 38 God speaks. And I love it because I like to read it as God being kinda sassy.
““What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!”
Job 38:19-21 NIV
For 2 chapters God goes on asking questions that establish His supremacy. There are things only He can do for reasons only He knows. And that’s His prerogative. He’s the creator, we are the creator. He’s the refiner, we are the refined.
When you’re going through a hard time, people like to say “everything happens for a reason”. Usually it doesn’t make you feel better. Sometimes it makes us downright mad. But I do believe it. I’ve gotten to the other side of so many terrible situations, and I can see God’s hand.
In the middle of the hard times, you have to preach the Gospel to yourself. You remind yourself of what God has done in the past. And trust that He’s loving and faithful.
God knows you and loves you. He sees your hurts and is working. He collects your tears. Cry out to him. Ask for help. Find a good counselor.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”
Psalm 56:8 ESV
If you are struggling with mental health or suicidal feelings, you are not alone. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/