By Steve Wickham
LIFE has far too much going on in it – spiritually – to ever think God has up and left us to it!
I had been floundering spiritually for weeks without even knowing it – or without acknowledging it. My problems existed outside of me. All my efforts and abilities and gifts were not being recognised or utilised or valued – in the way I wanted them to be – which indicates my using of God and not the other way around (for, it is a privilege to be used by God, but it is a sin to contemplate how we might use the Lord – apart from being foolish insanity, because God cannot be bargained with; he will not be coerced). The truth is God has shown his abundance to me so far as recognition, utilisation and value. It must always be good enough… but I depart from the purpose of this true-story-article…
Because my problems existed outside of me, I was blind to the only help available: God’s.
Then suddenly, due to some reflecting with a mentor, I was able to come aside a heinous thought: what if the problem is me? Never! The more I ventured there, as I reflect back I can see it, the more God’s Holy Spirit massaged my thinking gently. But my thinking was still very unconscious – I wasn’t aware of it until later.
I woke up one morning with the same dread I’d recognised from a pattern of wake-ups in the recent past. This dread just isn’t me. I hadn’t experienced it in such a while, yet God was using it to remind me of an important aspect of life – a very basic biblical principle – I was missing.
“I am depressed.”
Not suffering depression, but depressed all the same. All the thinking of externals had released my locus of control externally. Suddenly others were in control of my spiritual journey. No longer did I, with God, negotiate the terrain – where and how I would sojourn.
The irony of such a realisation – “I am depressed” – is, for me, that it is a key to unlocking the door of my own imprisonment. Hours later would come the revelation, but I knew, in my simple acknowledgement of where I was at, that the problem was in me, and not in others.
“The problem is in you.”
It is one thing to acknowledge something. It is something entirely different when God’s Spirit communicates five salient words in a sentence, per the above. Relief resonated within me, even as I sat in a cinema munching on popcorn.
I could do something.
When the problem is in me I can then do something about it. But when the problem is in someone else or something external I have no control. Think about it.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham. Steve Wickham is a Baptist pastor who holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling. Steve writes at: http://epitemnein-epitomic.blogspot.com.au/ and http://tribework.blogspot.com.au/