All night long I tossed and turned. I was anxious and afraid but didn’t know quite why. Specters of failure and probable loss danced mockingly on the edges of my thought. I sought to close my eyes to terrifying visions but couldn’t keep them out—they were inside me. How will I function tomorrow if I […]
Sorted by: Elyse Fitzpatrick
I live in Southern California and now that it’s summer, a familiar problem has returned. The problem is immodesty and now that the temperature is rising, the problem is becoming more and more obvious…again. But summer or not, modesty has been a topic of concern for me during my whole life. For instance, back in the days when I was in Catholic school, modesty was demanded.
How on earth I'm going to encapsulate in a few short paragraphs the depth of the riches and wisdom and grace and mercy of God as distilled by Luther/Forde on pages 107-110, I don't know. When practically the entire passage has been underlined (more than once) and I've got my personal notes scribbled in margins and exclamation points everywhere...how can I distil this for you? I feel what Forde must have felt as he wrestled and finally gave up and said,
How can we be self-controlled in our eating? Does that mean that we should eat only a certain number of calories, avoid sugar, eliminate foods with fat, or perhaps a combination of all three? The easiest thing in the world for me to do would be to tell you exactly what you should eat. But that’s a rather simplistic approach that doesn’t take into consideration a variety of factors. Besides, chances are you have been on diets like that before, and you and I both know how they usually end. I’m not saying that it is wrong to follow a preplanned diet, as long as it is not a fad diet. But even if you are following a preplanned diet perfectly, that doesn’t mean that your eating is pleasing to the Lord.
My husband recently lost his job necessitating a move to a rural senior mobile home community. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t responded well. Since this move I’ve noticed a significant propensity to anger, ingratitude, bitterness, self-pity, and ensuing guilt. I’ve been standoffish and arrogant with the dear folks who tried to welcome us here. We won’t even talk about how I treated my husband.
I woke up this morning troubled by yesterday’s failures. In fact, I spent most of the night last night, trying to drown out the voice of my inner slave driver who incessantly told me that I’m still the same and that I might as well give it up. More confessions: The truth is that I wasn’t primarily troubled this morning about my sin before God. Yes, of course, there was that, but I was mostly concerned about my reputation before others. The question, “Why did I say that?”
The workers were an hour and a half late arriving at my home. Now that they had finally come, I struggled to get my dogs outside, necessitating my dragging them out of the house by their collars. I had been working on an article on my laptop in the kitchen, getting ready to eat lunch and I now, too, needed to get out of the way. So I decided to stack a plate, a boxed salad, two phones and a nice big cup of coffee on a tray and try to navigate my way out the sliding door onto my patio. Strange thing, though…that tray? It was actually the keyboard of my laptop. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The coffee went flying and my computer fried.
I’ve recently moved from the city to the country. I used to live within ¼ mile of Interstate 15, one of the busiest freeways in the world. I knew that we were near the freeway and I knew that it was noisy, but I never realized just how noisy it was until I returned to our old home. I was surprised, no, shocked, at just how loud that freeway was. It seemed deafening to me. Wow, I thought, I never heard this before! Aside from a trivial vignette about our transition from urban to rural life, is there something more to be learned here? I think so. I think we can learn that a noise can be so loud that we just don’t hear it anymore.
In case any of you have missed the ongoing discussion on free will between my dear shirt-tail cousin, JoAnne, and I, you might want to look at it. Because I've spent a good deal of time responding to her, I think I'll just blast through the rest of this section. I'm assuming that most of you who are reading this blog are already on board with the Doctrines of Grace and wouldn't profit from more meandering through this section. And yet, there are a few points that I think are helpful for us to remember: "[Saving] Grace is acquired not by 'doing what is in one' [by just trying your hardest]. It is acquired when we are so completely humbled by God's alien work in law and wrath that we see how completely we are caught in the web of sin and turn to Christ as the only hope." (61)
Upon brief reflection it’s easy to see that the remedy du jour for treating depression solely with medication is based upon very specific assumptions: that its genesis is always within the body (primarily the brain) and that we do not have an inner, invisible mind that directs brain activity. If that is true, then anesthetizing uncomfortable feelings is the wisest choice. However, if Scripture teaches something different, specifically that we have both a brain and a mind (or inner man), then categorizing depression solely as a dysfunction of the brain and turning to medicine first (thereby silencing the emotional voice of the mind) will unavoidably impede the important heart-work that God-ordained suffering is meant to produce.