Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Learning from our experiences

I just visited Syd's blog "Bipolarity" and am greatly encouraged to read of the Lord's mercies to her in her current struggles with recurrence depression. Syd wrote :

However, I believe that what really turned my situation around is the most commonly available and absolutely free "medication" known to man... prayer. When I finally realized that I would never be able to resolve all of the issues I was facing by myself, I realized that I had no choice but to let them go. Instead asking "Why me?", I asked "Why?" And when I did, I began to realize that much more important than the pain I was facing was the lesson the pain was meant to teach me. Instead of asking for specific answers to specific prayer requests, I started praying that "Thy will be done." Then, I did something that was truly revolutionary for me. Not only did I significantly increase the amount and intensity of my prayer time, but during that time, I stopped talking, and started listening. And the more I listened, the more I heard. And the more I heard, the better I felt. And now, a mere week later, I can honestly say that many of the issues have been resolved - completely. And equally as important, for those that remain, my perspective towards them has changed. While things may not appear much different to the untrained eye from the outside, I know on the inside that I'm going to be OK.

Thank God that He draw us nearer to Him and give us peace as we learn to cast our cares and anxieties, confusions and pains, to Him. God has a purpose in allowing us to go through various experiences in life. We are sinners saved by grace and pilgrims in a fallen world. Therefore we can expect all kinds of challenges daily and very often much tribulation. I am reminded that we are through much tribulation to enter into the kingdom of God.

Every one of us has a cross to carry daily. Yours differ from mine. I will not be able to carry your cross no matter how light I think it looks to me. Neither can you carry mine. But God give us grace daily to carry our crosses and follow Him. He has many lessons to teach us of Himself, ourselves and others, and what really matters in life.

Recently, I experienced much mood swings partly due to the after effect for many weeks of manic, partly due to various challenges I am facing some of which are extremely stressful. Stress is something I am still learning to manage and I know from past experiences that if I do not manage stress well or reduce it to a manageable level, it will bring about a relapse of severe depression.

What can I learn from my difficult experiences recently? I am learning through this difficult experience to be more dependent upon God. Jim reminded me :

"The main thing to understand and remember is that Jesus is MY SHEPHERD that He will supply all my needs (Phil. 4:19) and that He knows everything about my life (Ps. 139:3), cares about me (1 Pet. 5:7), has the power for every difficulty (Ps. 62:11), is perfecting me to be like Christ (Phil. 1:6), and that nothing escapes Him (Ps. 147:5), that will lead me to be stable, not anxious living."

I realized that some times I failed to apply Scripture Truths to certain situations in my life and my feelings and emotions can overwhelmed me. It's a moment by moment looking to God and keep clinging on to His precious promises, irregardless of outward circumstances. There may be times in my life when God allows me to go through difficult experiences for His own purposes. As I looked back now, these have all been growing experiences for me in which I know God's love and mercies better.

I thank God for sustaining me through the last few weeks. The situations in my life have not changed very much but God has strengthened me. I have much peace and joy in Him now as I learn to cast my cares upon Him and look to Him. There may be many and various challenges ahead of me, I pray the Lord will keep my eyes upon Him and grant me the grace to wait upon Him and to seek to walk in His ways, knowing that He loved me and is with me.

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