Encouragement from my own life experiences with mental illness, among other things. I hope to remind you that we are all precious to God, that none of us is ever forgotten or forsaken, and that truly all things in our lives are "worked together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes." (Rom. 8:28) I also hope to remind folks that God can and wants to be your Friend. And He does, indeed, still speak to His children.
Something I read earlier today has been going round and round my head until this spilled out... This is not directed at any one, but more in response to things in my past the Spirit has been using to teach me - wherein I have not recognized the weight of my own words - and also in response to some online posts over the past few months that truly grieved my heart... Posts from good hearted, well intentioned people spewing forth foul, belittling and hurtful words that I have no doubt they didn't realize the true heft of... The things we casually throw around verbally without a respect and regard for how much an impact our words really have.
We need to be aware the power in the tongue - both for good and bad. I have concluded thus...
Just because we have the right to say whatever comes to mind
does not make it right for us to say whatever crosses our minds.
Each of us should carefully consider then the weight of our words before we give breath to them. Once spoken, we cannot take back even utterances made casually or in haste. And although many words can be forgiven, very few and far between can be entirely forgotten, particularly when harm has been done. We would be wise to heed good advice and spare ourselves the damage told by a brash storm of words uncensored before they pass our lips into this world.
It is ever needful we recognize that not any one of us knows absolutely everything about most anything. This should be a foremost consideration whenever we set about to give voice to our thoughts, opinions and views... As well as when we enter into new acquaintances and relationships.
Not a one of us is God.
I honestly believe if we even realized the weight of our words to God, we might not be so careless with our mouths. If we realized how He felt when we said certain things, we might not speak so casually, nor be so quick to criticize or condemn.
I pray God continue to deal with me on my mouth - I know He's given me the gift of expression, writing, music, and exhortation and teaching... A gift of language.. With that gift comes a lot of responsibility... I have not always recognized and respected this.
More and more I see just how much I need His help
when it comes to this area of my mouth and my words.
Lord, set a guard on my lips.
Let me think and consider You
as I choose how to speak and respond in all situations.
And grant me grace to know
and strength to keep quiet
when it is needful!!!!
The Bible has MUCH, MUCH to say on the subject of the tongue and its power...
Not the least of which is Proverbs 18:21 -
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ___
Yes, we would all do well to be more mindful of our words.
It's moments like this where I find myself wishing it would just rain.
When the inward burden is so great, I yearn for an outward manifestation of my pain in hope for some sense of relief...
It frustrates me when it is this heavy. Frustrates me that I am not yet adept at just laying it down readily. I remain stymied at a sometimes seemingly constant need for a repeated turning over... wishing with all that I have I could finally lay this trouble of my heart, this mental anguish, all of it... down once and for all...
Oh, that I could just fall to the ground and lay prostrate before Him... To release this weight and not get back up until my spirit and soul has been released, entirely set free.
But then I might no longer be so closely tethered to the One whom my soul loves... If I were completely healed and never to wrestle with this torment again, I might forget my desperate need for Him in my every breath. And that... That would not be worth it.
And although hard for some to comprehend, because of these truths I give thanks even in the hardest places for this... This thorn in my flesh.
It will not always feel this way, this dark and gray... and for that I am grateful. And I am never, not ever alone in the midst of the languishing... And for that, I will never cease to offer praise.
Having written all this, I realize... this sums up what it means to me to a Christian living with bipolar disorder... Embracing while also wrestling with having been fearfully and wonderfully made...
Regarding my "thorn" - I feel much as Paul expressed in his letter to the Corinthians... I once longed for it to be removed, but I have now accepted and am even thankful for this burden I carry that keeps me undeniably tied to the One whom my soul loves.
I know according to all human understanding that makes no logical sense... But logic has nothing to do with the ways of God. I have come to know the truth of taking delight in my weaknesses... Even as they still cause pain within me. I am humbly blessed God has created me by design for His greater purposes, and would not choose to be any other way if I could. I have seen so many times over how God has used my struggles to minister through my life to the needs of others... And that in itself is a greater gift than any for which I could ever have hoped or dreamed.
And because of the depth of my soul ache, I can all the more appreciate and celebrate the true joy that wells up from within me by the light and hope of my salvation... I also know and can testify to the power of the indisputable truth that it is God's grace - God's all sufficient grace - that sustains me... Not my own means or power in any way.