God vs mental health
On one side of the coin, we're in a unique time, the most amazing and beautiful time humanity has ever experienced. The other side of the coin is scary, what with natural disasters, a pandemic, xenophobia, racism, and people being lovers of self. The internet has made entrepreneurship easy to innovate and create new technologies, curate and consume information faster than ever before, and find new ways to distribute and expedite success. More millionaires are created daily, faster than ever in the history of mankind. Lastly, and ironically, we're more connected and, at the same time, disconnected, from each other.
Mental illness, especially anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolarism, and depression have always plagued humanity, but there is a heightened awareness now. People want education and liberation. I have overcome depression and believe there are more people with some capacity of mental illness than is reported. Naturally, people yearn to be whole because God is one and we were made in His image and likeness. Yet with so many distractions pulling at us, there’s a war waging within that makes it difficult to be integral. There’s a war between our peace versus rebellion and rejection. The four P’s: people, poverty, politics, and posting (on social media) mount stress, insecurity, and fear like never before. With the ease of creating content, the competition of attraction, and day trading attention, there is no wonder why mental illness awareness has heightened. But God chose to address mental health in the Bible. At the core, we value the validation of others more than the revelation of God’s thoughts towards us and that gives Satan a huge advantage in our culture and our minds.
Psalm 23:5b (ESV) is one of the most popular and recited Bible verses in the world. “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” The chapter starts with the psalmist, King David, referencing God as a Shepherd. David’s past profession provided the perfect analogy of God’s love and protection, especially concerning our mental health. David knew that placing oil on a sheep’s head would create a protective barrier from parasites, worms and briars. The oil protected the sheep from the eggs being laid in their noses and eyes. Without the oil the sheep would slam their heads against rocks in an attempt to kill the insects but cause harm to themselves. Similarly with briars, the oil protects the sheep from getting tangled and dying from struggling to get loose. That’s how mental health works in relation to God’s anointing. God wants to protect us but we have to be still, come in agreement, and trust that His way of protecting makes more sense than banging our heads against rocks. You find strength and defeat the battle within by knowing you are weak and receiving God’s oil, the Holy Spirit whom Jesus called the Comforter, who will abide with you forever (John 14:16 KJV).
God wants you free to worship, free to serve and free to work in the Kingdom. Yet freedom has a price and requires a decision and an exchange. Jesus already paid the price to buy you from the bondage of sin and sickness but you have to decide to exchange how life has been for how life could be. Your walk with God is a process and if you haven’t walked in a while you may be sore at first but it will feel good.