Let Go, and Let Him (Ros' Blog)
This week’s guest blog from Gwen Davies is timely, as the Prime Minister is acknowledging the need for improvements in mental health services. It’s an area where the Church can make a difference.
LET GO AND LET HIM
by Gwen Davies
As a ‘ex-depressive’ in my early adult hood I got to see first hand how some Christians deal with those suffering from mental illness. In my church some offered to pray for me but I felt too low to appreciate the significance. Others gave me cards with Bible quotes added but they too left me cold. The people who made the difference were those who rolled up their sleeves and helped me out practically. A ‘Show and Tell’ approach with a heavy emphasis on the show (much like the disciples responses in the Acts of the Apostles!)
I’ve always thought in pictures (a gift from my dyslexia) and as I write this imagine a male driver looking to buy in a top of the range car. The car salesmen wants to sell this car and get his commission (in my vision the commission is another soul saved for Christ). So His best option would be to take the customer out for a test drive, let him see what the car can do and how it would transform his life. Only then would the salesmen discuss terms and offer him the manual! If the salesmen tried to convince him first using just the manual and his assurances then the customer would probably lose interest and move on. I believe the ‘test drive approach’ is by far the best way, as Christians that we can help those in need.
In my early adult life I’d fallen into the usual trap of relying on myself rather than submitting everything to God so He could do the necessary restoration! Some Christians have broken through impossible barriers to lead incredible lives .The answer seems to be to embrace His promises and move over so that the Holy Spirit can do its work.
Joni Eareckson Tada was 17 when a diving accident left her quadriplegic, paralysed from the shoulders downwards, and completely dependent on others for the most basic of needs. During a gruelling two year stay in hospital she learnt how to paint with her teeth and become a highly sought after artist. She has since written over 50 inspirational Christian books, visited 47 countries as an evangelist and disability advocate, set up the International Disability Centre, donated hundreds of thousands of wheelchairs around the world and received numerous awards and honours. She later overcame breast cancer and now lives with chronic unremitting bone pain. So what was her secret? She says the same prayer every morning, from the day she came out of hospital to over forty- five years later. It has been a hard journey for Joni; one that she will say is far from over,
Lord, I don’t have the strength to go on. I have no resources. I can’t do another day of quadriplegia but I can do all things through you who strengthen me. So please give me your smile today. I need you urgently.
She relies totally on His strength each and every day just to get up and get through the pain and struggle of quadriplegia. That is why Jesus told us that the poor in spirit are blessed and the Kingdom belongs to them (Matthew 5:3). Joni believes that our souls are a much more important to God than our bodies. She calls suffering the “sandblaster” that strips us of our sinful ways, the “sandblaster” that offers ‘deep soul healing’ so we can become who we were always meant to be in Him. Certainly Joni’s suffering not only enabled her to overcome impossible odds but has also changed the lives of millions through her charity.
I always thought that I needed to do grand things for God to succeed in His eyes but I now know that He already saw me as successful. Each of us makes up the Body of the Church and Christ needs each and every one of us to do His work. Some of us will be in front of house but most of us will do equally valuable work behind the scenes. Not all of us can be like Joni Eareckson Tada but our contributions, however tiny they may seem to us, will be equally valuable to Him. After all it only takes a tiny drop of perfume to leave a lasting lingering scent in a room. Most of us will be never be “famous” but what we can do is do our best to represent Him at all times. Each of us can send out our own scent for Christ. We may never see the results of our efforts. But rest assured, He will!
Gwen's book 'By My Fathers Hand' comes out later this year through Onward and Upward publishers