Jesus, My Friend
Closer than ever before
In my Life
So wow... Where do I begin? Throughout my journey, Jesus has been getting up close and personal with me in gentleness and tenderness. And this is the closest I have ever felt Him walk with me! I know that we are getting closer together and that my relationship with Him is growing in a way I've never experienced before. How to explain it... It is not I who am going after Him but He is coming after me. That's not to say that I am no longer desirous of Him or His presence or that I've stopped longing for Him. But He is... drawing near to me. I don't know how else to put it but that's what the Bible says. If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. In my younger years of walking with Jesus, I spent my time studying the Word and praying and really building a foundation of fellowship with Him. And I was in hot pursuit. While I still am, something is different. He is the one pursuing me now. That's not to imply that God was far from me before or was ignoring me. His love for me has not decreased or increased, it remains the same... Something is just different. I don't feel closer to Him, He feels closer to me.
And I believe the reason for this is because of my "issues". Let me explain. First off, am I saying that I'm thankful for the mental anguish? Um. No. And I will never call an illness of any kind "a blessing in disguise". Sicknesses and diseases are ultimately from the Evil One, Satan, and nothing he is behind is ever beneficial. The scriptures say that God causes all things to work together for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (which I am experiencing more and more), not that hardships are blessings in disguise. Is it just me or does that type of thinking sound like a subtle but very dangerous misinterpretation of the Word? That type of thinking leads to people concluding that God does indeed cause or give calamities. He doesn't. The scriptures say to be thankful in all situations. IN all, not FOR all.
We can be thankful that even though we may be suffering, Jesus hasn't left us. I am thankful that even though I am dealing with my own mental interruptions, they have not stolen my empathy for others or made me cold towards the pains of others. They have not consumed me to the point where I can not see someone in need of mercy. In fact, God is using my experiences as a platform to reach and bless and serve others for His glory. He is using the pain I know from Ed and PMDD/Bi Polar depression as an opportunity to be there for someone else and help lead them to freedom. That is what I am thankful for. Not for the illnesses themselves, but the beauty which is flowing from and in spite of them. Considering my mental interruptions as "gifts" sounds too much like giving praise to the devil. I am thankful for the incredible way that my creativity works, which is said to be a commonality in those with mental illnesses, more specifically, Bi-Polar disorder. I am thankful that God brought me through the worst depression of my life and continues to do so. I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given and will be given to be with those who experience similar mind pains. I am thankful for what they bring out of me... But I am not, nor will I ever be thankful for the illnesses in and of themselves. No. Never.
To God be the glory.
And He truly is getting it all. I can almost not even express how closely I feel Him walking with me, right next to me, touching shoulder to shoulder. I'm imagining walking side by side with Him down a path with leafy trees on both sides of me. Hence the picture. He is getting closer with me even as I struggle. Even though my mind is interrupted with different things, He stays right next to me. I don't think I would have experienced His presence like this in this way in my life if I didn't have such needs, such interruptions. Yet I do not thank Him for them, I thank Him for His mercy, for seeing my needs and being enough to provide. I thank Him for the good that these interruptions bring about, that He cause to work together. I thank Him for being my friend.