My cup is running over. I feel a strong presence of the LORD in and around me. My suffering is about to accomplish some good for others. Depression has been a constant companion, but the work God is doing in and around me is overcoming it.
Depression as you might guess is a constant killjoy. It doesn’t just rob you of days and months. It wastes years of happiness and productivity. But I serve a God who sees it much differently. Look what He did with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Look what He did with just 33 years through his son upon this earth.
I’ve asked several people recently if we are going to hell in a hand basket or if God is creating a revival in our world. I’ve gotten both answers. I personally think God is on the move in our world to create a revival in people seeking Him.
Our church family is intentional about evangelism. We actively seek out the lost domestically and internationally, and anytime you have a group of people who take seriously the Great Commission you know there are going to be those who are found when they admit they are lost.
I’ve been lost in my depression, and even though I’ve been a Christian for many years I have not lived the abundant life God talks so much about in the Bible. I’ve been controlled by fear, shame and guilt, and though those things will probably be a part of my life till I die they don’t have to control me like they once did. I’m turning into a transformed person who longs for the presence of God in increasing measure all over the world.
People have come along side me all through my life beginning with my God-fearing parents, but the people God has put into my life just this year have had a tremendous impact on my battle with depression. My wife and daughter have been pivotal these last almost 21 years, but there are names that are going through my head at this moment who have been a strong presence of Jesus for me.
I can’t begin to express the depth of my thanks for that. I’m more in tuned with the gentleness and kindness of our Father, and His long-suffering is a testament to His inexhaustible love that never let’s go.
Kevin talked about influence this morning, and his words were timely as I think about what I’m trying to accomplish through my work. Cleaning houses is satisfying work. It can help someone with a mental illness find routine and purpose. It’s not glamorous, but it’s honest work that can help many climb out of poverty. I’m trying now to build a dynamic service here in Nashville that will grow into a national company empowering others to have financial freedom. Imagine if a large percentage of those people fight a mental illness, and they call upon Jesus as LORD? We could create an incredible revival for healing and transformation in Jesus.
Our church family has a motto that says, “Anything’s Possible.” Scripture is clear on that too isn’t it? Things that are possible with God are many times impossible with people. Many of you are familiar with the verse that says, “If God is for us who can be against us?” The answer is of course no one. We don’t act unilaterally from our own knowledge and wisdom, hence the reason we consult God and others who have been where we are. God speaks through me to others, and vice versa, so when we pray I’m convinced that sometimes His answers come through other human beings. The Bible also says be quick to listen and slow to speak, and I love the saying that says we have one mouth and two ears – use them proportionately.
I think sometimes I get ahead of myself by exercising my own will before I consider what God might be saying to me. He brings together the people He wants together to accomplish the work He has prepared in advance for us to do. That might sound Calvinistic, but I’m convinced it’s true. Arguing the mind of God is futile, but to say He is in control as we exercise our free-will is certainly not futile.
I’m reading a book my friend Amy got me for my birthday about the Guinness family from Ireland and their success in the beer brewing industry. I’m convinced that the Guinness family rooted their business in God, and 250 years later God continues to bless that business because of their obedience.
There are many Christ followers in the business world who long to serve God, and I hope to join their ranks.
We have a mental health epidemic, and I think if Clean Houses becomes a voice for healing in that arena then we can set a lot of people free from that burden, and in the process we can bring some redemption to families who desperately need it.