For Me

adria-crehuet-cano-668998-unsplash.jpgI don’t think there’s anything quite like the fire under me to write. I remember in the third grade writing a short story about football when I never even played football on a school team. Oh, we played with my dad in the backyard, and when dad was preaching in Kansas we had a neighbor named Russell who was a punter on the high school team, so we played with him in the backyard. My mom has been discovering some of my earlier writing, and it would crack me up if she found that short story about football.

Needless to say I’ve been writing for as long as I remember my struggle with depression. I wonder sometimes if the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh in south Florida was the catalyst for my depression. That shouldn’t be something a kindergarten student should have to process, but there I was processing it.

Well, I didn’t mean for this post to turn toward depression, but it did.

I think what has been on my mind a lot these days is the incredible Sadie Robertson. She started a new podcast called WHOA That’s Good Podcast, and her first guest was Bob Goff. I’ve read both her books, and I even started memorizing some of the Bible verses she listed in her latest, Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose. Those verses have since escaped my memory, but they are always there for consumption when I go back to them. God never negates the message of His word even when we “forget” it. His unconditional love is unconditional. Novel concept I know. I’ve done a fine job of forgetting so many things He wants me to know, but power draws me back time and time again. May His name be praised.

Like Sadie, there are so many amazing young people out there who are seeking the LORD Jesus Christ. When I was a youth pastor I encouraged my flock to memorize 1 Timothy 4.12.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, life, love, faith and purity.

When I think about my own youth and those younger than me now there’s hardly a time this verse doesn’t cross my mind. I need to hide it in my heart to guard against the sins I struggle with. I can’t guard against temptation because temptation is inevitable, but sin does not have to be. As you know one symptom I struggle with associated with depression is that of anger. I’m going to remind myself today that my anger is not just. My anger leaves a path of unrighteousness that creates situations like those fictional ones you see in the movie Crash. Nothing good comes from my angry outbursts. We need more good in the world, and that has always been the case. May His love reign because honestly, I’ve never seen human anger change a mind, heart or situation.

I just bought my ticket to Sadie Robertson’s Live Original Tour. I’m going to see her in Evansville, Indiana. I could not be more stoked! Her message is resonating with me on a deep level, and I think she is turning many hearts toward our perfect Father. I’m one of those hearts! She’s the real deal, and to say she’s taking 1 Timothy 4.12 to heart is an under-statement. Thank you God for Sadie, her awesome family and tribe!

LORD God in heaven and on earth we thank you for Sadie Rob. We thank you for the impact she is having on believers and unbelievers. We pray for this tour getting ready to start, and we pray for the hearts that it will touch. Give Sadie peace and rest as she begins this tour, and we pray for safety for all those bringing it to the cities they are going to. I pray for myself and others that will be fed by it. Give us all safe travels, and may our hearts be soft for the message Sadie and her friends and family give us. In Jesus name amen.

Depression empties minds and hearts doesn’t it? I think the prophet Jeremiah likely struggled with depression. I don’t just write that because he was known as the weeping prophet. His trepidation to do what God called him to do was also a reason I think he was besieged with fear and depression. Mental illness was probably not part of their semantic, but there was no doubt sickness that the people of God were familiar with in that time and place.

Sickness takes hope and energy away, and sometimes it’s all you can do to put one foot in front of the other just to move from one room to the other. We can’t possibly fathom the importance of things like the Live Original Tour or things like Wednesday night Bible study for precious kiddos who desperately need the message Sherry will give them tonight.

Father, You know the amazing talent you’ve blessed Sherry with to teach these precious children about Your word. I’ve already been a recipient of the blessing she is, and I know these kids have seeds planted in their hearts to make your word a light unto their feet. Continue tonight to work through Sherry’s preparation to draw these kids closer to you. In Jesus name amen.

Purpose and calling are powerful attributes anyone can lean in to to heal from depression. I don’t think I’ve ever typed this next sentence. I’m healing from depression. All the things that have preceded me in my life are serving as God presence in my battle with this terrible mental illness. God is indeed omnipresent (everywhere all the time), so to compartmentlize Him to the four walls of a church building is an ignorant practice. The church is everywhere like God. He works His will through billions of people, and even when we think all hope is gone that’s just one of many lies that exist because of our fallen world.

This social media medium that sprung up over the past decade or so has only made the message of His love that much more needed because the opporunities to see “success” and “more” beautiful people then we’ve seen have multiplied!

God doesn’t care how big your house is. God doesn’t care how much money you have. God doesn’t care that everybody likes you. They don’t. He does care that you love the underdog. He does care that you seek Him above all other things and people. When you put Him above all creation then guess what? All those things will be added unto you.

It truly is that simple. We are worried and upset about many things, but God sighs in love because He wants us to have peace.

Turn off the news. Turn off the television period. Get off your phone, the computer or whatever it is that takes you away from Him. He loves you more than your mom and dad. He loves you more than your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, husband or wife. We sadly miss the point of God’s love when we replace it with anything but Him. That’s called idolaltry, and He forbids it.

If you’re like Toby Mac, Micahel Tait, Kevin Max or me then you have to learn the hardway, but many of us do because some of us have to mess up so many times before we truly get the message that God’s undying affection for us is more real than the blood in our veins.

He’s the ground I walk on. He’s the air I breathe. And even if there was not one person for me He will always be for me. And I close with one scripture.

“If God is for us who can be against us?”

 

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