Saturday, March 27, 2010

Looking Back...Insights from Arkansas

Since arriving here at the Minirth Ranch in the Arkansas Ozarks, the Lord has been teaching me so much.

The pristine beauty of the hills and valleys, the rivers and creeks has helped to speed the recovery of this burnt out child of the King.

Depression when brought under control of a sovereign God, can be subdued and ultimately defeated as we submit to His Lordship and the wise godly counsel of men like Dr. Frank Minirth.

As we walked down to Big Creek the other day and skipped smooth stones across its clear surface, I was reminded of many things just by observing.
As the great New York Yankee ballplayer Yogi Berra once stated, "You can observe a lot by just watching.

As I passed by a bonfire pit with the charred remains of a once-blazing fire, I thought of my own life and the experience of many other pastors and Christian leaders who have suddenly found themselves burnt out.

Only a fresh encounter with the living Christ of God can re-ignite the flame which once burned unabated for the King of kings.

This, plus wise, sound, biblical counsel can "get us back" as Dr. Minirth has repeatedly expressed to me. The good doctor and the God of heaven are determined to "get me back".

As I continued to walk leisur
ely along the banks of the creel , I noticed the massive root network under a "big old tree".

I was reminded that in order to get our lives under control we have to "get to the root" of the problem. With my depression it was a series or significant losses over the past five years plus some unresolved issues from my teen years and early 20's that had precipitated my defeatist state of mind.

As we got to the root of the problem I began to understand why I was in the midst of this gut-wrenching battle.

Much of our depre
ssion is caused by our failure to be kind to ourselves. I'm learning that many depressed people are very kind to others but they fail to be kind to themselves. This can lead to destructive behaviors and, then, inaccurate thinking. The downward spiral continues until we get help. The help I've been receiving has been life-changing.

Walking on, I saw some awesome vines creeping over a rocky ledge and dropping to the ground below. As I mused on these sights, I realized again that unless we are super-naturally connected to the true Vine, Jesus Christ Himself, we will never truly be healed and fulfilled. He alone is the source of life and wellness.

Where are you at, dear friend? Has the raging battle brought you down and robbed you of any hope? There is hope and a future for those who know the eternal God, through Christ Jesus. Take His hand and let Him lead your through. If He can do it for me, He can accomplish the same for you. Give Him a chance.

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