By Nancy Virden (c)2013
Have you seen enough horror stories on the news? Complex humanity experiences various responses to suffering. From survivor’s guilt to PTSD, from repressed memories to flashbacks, and from depression to road rage, can anyone be whole?
I used to think whole means pain-free. It does not. What I am learning is that wholeness is ultimately a result of, not an escape from suffering.
Only God knows what each person has fought and defeated. Some victories are easy to figure out, and we want to make them into formulas for happiness. Other wins are small and hidden in the deep reserves of secrecy. There is not a one for all formula for wholeness.
Testing develops perseverance; perseverance refines us over time as we learn what is truly important and real. Then we become mature and complete, not lacking anything. Complete. Whole. Does this concept sound familiar? If you are a Bible reader, you may recognize James 1:2-8.
Jesus Christ is a living God who loves me and is not expecting me to get my act together before he will keep his promises. When that faith is challenged, I can persevere in trust or become a frenzied hopeful trying to earn my way into his good graces.
If my faith brings another kind of struggle such as social rejection, disappointment gives me another choice. Will I try to please people, or will I grow stronger in my reliance on Jesus. Do you see? Then I learn that no matter what happens, he is with me and will not let me go.
Wholeness is having an unconflicted, not double, mind. This is why James, Jesus’ brother wrote, “Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials of many kinds.” I want to be whole, one within, reliant on my God and strong in faith. Suffering has increased these, and my hope.
Today’s Helpful Word
James 1: 2-8 niv
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are 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. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!