Spiritual talk that is supposed to help leaves us cold.
So, with a bit of imagination… feeling this way, we go into a room of counselors who have been called in to help us work through it. Some of them are carrying a Bible. Others drove up in cars sporting the name “Darwin” inside a “Fish” symbol.
The questions start coming. How long have you been feeling like this? Hours, days, months? What’s been going on in your life? Disappointment? Boredom? Overwork? Loss of job, marriage, or death in the family? Any family history of depression? Any reason to be angry or afraid? How long since you’ve had a complete physical? Recent surgeries, birth of a baby, financial stress? What drugs are you taking?
The questions keep coming. How are you sleeping, eating, exercising physically, and spiritually?
When the counselors seem to have exhausted their ability to ask questions one of them asks, “Now, what do you want us to do? Give you our opinions and recommendations or some time to think about what we’ve asked.” Sensing they are not going to agree we tell them we need some time to think…
Now that we are by ourselves again, where do we start or stop looking for answers?
If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that there is a delicate, complex relationship between body, soul, and spirit. We are so wonderfully, mysteriously, and fearfully made that a disruption in our physical health can cloud our minds, just as a failure of spirit can affect the chemistry of our body.
Just as amazingly, our Creator has built into us a certain capacity for self-healing, while leaving us dependent on Him alone for the real answers to the most important questions.
There are times when a change of mind or perspective can do for us what the Psalmist so often experienced (i.e. Psalm 73). Sometimes it’s a good nights rest, a good walk, times with friends, and a few good laughs. On other occasions, an honest, heart-wrenching struggle with God– to the point of surrender– is desperately needed.
And there are also the times when, as we wait on the Lord for his wisdom and help, we need to remember that “in a number of counselors there is safety” (Prov 11:14). Especially, when the sadness continues, and we don’t know why, and nothing we do seems to help, it may be time to get the help of a reputable doctor, or counselor, without leaving behind the kind of ongoing spiritual counsel and support we need from a wise pastor or spiritually mature friend.
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