Monday, March 1, 2010

The Despondency Response and Spiritual Remediation

“[Moses] overlooked the fact that God has made us responsible for our own perfection, not for that of others.”

~J. Oswald Sanders, Problems of Christian Discipleship, p. 27.

Depression: it’s a mental, emotional and spiritual killer known to all too many of us who’ve been afflicted. We can easily be fooled by the devil that we’ve Spiritual energy to burn, and we do, to a point. But as soon as we routinely violate God’s natural and Spiritual laws we’re asking for trouble.

And this is often the trap. We derive so much confidence in our newfound zest and capacity for life. But the wisdom and truth of God applies to all, equally.

Sanders takes us on a crop-dusting flight over the sweeping vistas of forlornness—biblically in the form of Moses, Elijah and Jonah and their exhausted prayers. These men, who were greatly used by God, had their own despondency issues; so, why not simple “we?”

When each of Moses (Numbers 11:15), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4) and Jonah (Jonah 4:3) prayed to God in self-centred ways, oaked in rich self-pity, God did not answer the way they wished he would. And nor will he us. The holy God cannot abide in this.

And this is good. Why?

As we get beyond our own self-pity, and this is always seemingly embarrassing to admit, we can open our eyes at last to the real and practical things that God’s put in our midst to service our real need. You see, we don’t need a God who’ll wallow with us in our defeated dejection; we need a God who’ll lift us powerfully out of the mire.

The case in point is Elijah—all he needed was some rest, two decent sleeps and two decent meals and all of a sudden fresh perspective came. He at last could see the strong moral support he had.

And so can we when we see with real sight; when we consider life’s landscape, physically and mentally refreshed.

When we see that our purpose is not to do everything we can, despite our needs for rest and renewal, we at last agree with God. His miracles do not extend beyond the abuse of his natural and Spiritual laws. He favours not one over the other. All these laws apply equally, more or less.

How often do we, like Elijah, overlook the simple need of sleep and good diet etc?

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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