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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Keys to the Prison

 "Life is difficult."

These are the opening words of Dr. Scott Peck's bestselling book The Road Less Traveled.

I have spent many years running from this truth.
Based on my experiences, I am not alone.

We think we can avoid the hard truth by pretending it's not there.
This is called denial.

We think we can escape it through various addictions - food, alcohol, shopping, social media - just to name a few.
This is called bondage.

We can  blame others.
"If only ______ would change then I could be happy."
This is called codependency.
Ultimately we have no control over certain circumstances or how others behave.

Many of us sink into depression at this point as I did.  For more than 20 years I have battled this insidious disease.  I have learned many things.

Learning skills and insights from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Logotherapy,  and the new exciting research in neuroscience have all been a part of my search for wholeness and healing.

Medication under a psychiatrist's careful supervision has been another essential part of the journey -
as have food, exercise, sleep, sunlight, family and friends.

But none of those things has ever been able to completely set me free.

I'm learning that only God can do that.

Surrender, acceptance and soaking in God's Word are the keys to escape the prison.

I am powerless over many things but when I "let go and let God" I am given a new strength far beyond my own limitations.

Those who hope in the in the Lord
 will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
  they will  run and not grow weary,
  they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

I am learning one day at a time to trust in the Lord with all my heart.

I am learning that He doesn't expect me to deal with this alone.
He surrounds me with the perfect resources when I need them
(although at times I am blind to them).

That's where trust comes in.
There are many times we may feel alone.
Our feelings can easily mislead us and blind our eyes to the truth -
the unfailing truth:

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:2

Despite our doubt.

Despite our darkness.

Despite our feelings.

Despite our failure and frustration.

Despite anything.

We are never alone.

Our God is with us.