Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
This week I spent three days at my son’s beautiful apartment over Christmas. He cooked all the meals, cleaned everything, and served me like a special guest. It was fabulous and restful, a perfect shelter.
Christmas night I had to leave for the two-hour drive home. In transit, I longed for another shelter – my house, and my bed.
Shelters come in various forms. Houses, finances, portfolios, and reputations give us a sense of security. We rest in family and friends. Often, hope centers on the immediate, the latest sure thing, or escape.
Problem is, each of the above is temporary and comes with no guarantee.
A friend once had a dream. In it, there was a terrific storm. She entered a shelter, finding Jesus and many people inside. It was safe there. All was calm while the storm outside whirled about.
Noticing the storm had quieted, my friend thought, “It is alright to go out now.” She left, only to be caught up again in massive winds. A hand grasped her, pulling her back inside.
It was Jesus. He said, “Did I tell you it was safe to leave my shelter? Stay here.”
The next morning, my friend confessed the dream had led her to a spiritual decision. She said, “I will never leave his shelter again. Never.”
Anxiety, a seemingly ever-present enemy of rest, shouts its threats. Booming rages and disasters in the world demand our attention. Depression and other disorders try to claim our minds. Yet there is a whispered guarantee. The shelter of the Most High is our place of safety.
This shelter is not built by human hands. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, himself. In the quiet of trusting, yielding, and worshiping prayer, he whispers his love. Reading, comprehending, and living by God’s Word (the Holy Bible), raises our faith. Fear, guilt, shame, doubt, a sense of worthlessness or hopelessness – all dissolve and heal over time in the presence of Jesus, our refuge.
God’s promise to anyone who chooses to set up home in his shelter, is rest. Under the shadow of the Almighty, we can know peace.
Today’s Helpful Word
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.