Does it really help to be a Christian?

A story or God’s Word? Fiction or Truth?

A story or God’s Word?
Fiction or Truth?

Liza Long wrote the article “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother – It’s time to talk about mental illness.”
She answered the question, “What’s it like to have a child with serious mental illness (MI)?”

Left unanswered were numerous other questions. Questions many of us grapple with and secretly ask God.

The big one: Is there a God who cares?

Hagar found out. When she became pregnant with Abraham’s child, Sarah banished her. Alone in the wilderness, God spoke to her. “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me. (Genesis 16:13)’”

He sees us as we stagger through the wilderness of MI. Wandering alone. Is there a God who cares? Yes, El Roi is the God who sees.

What’s the ultimate torture for a mother? To watch her child suffer and die. Hagar couldn’t do it. When her son’s water ran dry in the desert, she left him. Can you identify with her pain? Are there days when you doubt whether or not you can bear to watch your child suffer any longer?

The God who sees also hears. He heard the cry of Hagar’s son. “God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink (Genesis 21:17-19).”

Is there a God who hears? Yes. He’s the same God who opened Hagar’s eyes to see His provision and her ears to hear His future blessings. Ask Him to open your eyes to His provision and your ears to hear the blessings He plans for you.

Is there a God who can make a way when there seems to be no way to help our child with MI? Yes. El Shaday, God Almighty is the God of all possibilities. Nothing is impossible with Him.
Here’s an experience I had that helped me understand His limitless power.

Early in the morning, one of my second graders entered the classroom looking downcast. I could see he was fighting back tears. Samuel was normally a happy-go-lucky kind of kid…very even-tempered and mature. That’s why his demeanor alarmed me even more.

Before he unpacked his backpack, I took him out in the hall. I asked him what was wrong. From his backpack he pulled out a pink folder with a ballerina on the cover.
In disgust he said, “My yellow folder ripped, so my mother gave me this – my SISTER’S folder.”
He was embarrassed and ashamed of the folder and obviously angry with his mother.

Every student in the class had a yellow pocket folder they used to take papers to and from home. Samuel knew the pink folder would be noticed by all his classmates. He feared others would tease him.

My student didn’t know that I kept a supply of new yellow pocket folders in my cabinet for emergencies.
I instructed him to, “Wait here” and went to get a new yellow pocket folder. I printed his name on the front.

When I presented the new folder to Samuel, he was so relieved that he snatched it out of my hands and proceeded to rush into the classroom. But, I gently pulled him back into the hallway. This was an opportunity to share a biblical truth.
“Your problem seemed like a HUGE problem…one that couldn’t be solved. But, to me it was a very small problem. When you get older, you will have bigger problems. To God, all those problems will be easy for Him to solve. Never forget this pink folder. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” Always remember how much God loves you and never forget His mighty power.”

Is there a God who can make a way when there seems to be no way? Yes. El Shaday, God Almighty is the God of all possibilities. Nothing is impossible with Him.

Is there a God who can restore joy? The psalmist believed so. He reminded himself to tap into that fountain of joy.
“Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 43:4-5).”

During my darkest days, I turn on Christian worship songs. Like the psalmist, I find that praise leads me right to God, my joy.
Can God restore joy? Yes. His joy is yours for the taking! Drink freely.

Is there a God who can restore peace in the home and in the hearts of our children? Yes. Our Shepherd restores our soul. He will lead us out of turbulence to rest beside still waters. His rod and staff comfort us.
Can God restore peace? Yes. The Lord, our Shepherd will be with us all the days of our lives. He will never leave us.

Is there a God who can intercede in a marriage to rebuild that relationship? If Christ can be our Mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5), He can surely be the mediator in our marriage.
Is there a God who can restore marriages? Yes. The One who sent His Son to restore His relationship with mankind wants to renew your relationship with your spouse. The One who forgave all sin can help you unconditionally forgive and trust again.

When MI suddenly shattered our son’s live, Chris questioned God’s love for him. Don’t we all do that?
Chris demanded, “Don’t tell me Bible verses! I want to know that He still loves me. Where’s the proof?”
God’s answered by painting an exquisite moon that said, “Here’s a symbol of my love for you.”
A small child draws a picture to show their love. God paints the sky.
Can God be found? Yes. Elohim, the Creator can do amazing things to remind us of His love.

When Chris was out of touch from reality, he harmed our dog. The dog he loved. Zelda’s bloodshot eyes reminded him of his uncharacteristic violence. Tormented by those actions, Chris despaired of the loss of his pet’s love for him. “She won’t love me ever again.”
By faith, I responded, “Yes she will. Just call her.”
He called her name and she willingly responded.
Can God be found? Yes. Elohim, the Creator can do amazing things to remind us of His love.

Can God use the ugliness of MI for any good purpose? He uses trials to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in us. In this spiritual boot camp we find ourselves in, He teaches us how to show unconditional love to our child with MI. He helps us respond in gentleness when we receive unprovoked anger. He fills us with His perfect peace amid great sorrow. He is Melek, King. King of all kings. His power is limitless.

When things seem out of control and we can’t hold it together, God is still seated on the throne, holding the universe together.

When we feel the sting of searing stigma, the image of Christ reaching out to the outcasts and touching the lepers comforts us.

When we feel helpless, we remember God provides hope in abundance, as we recall the promise, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).”

Can God help a mom of a child with MI? Yes. He is:
• Our refuge when we need protection
• Our rock when things are uncertain and unstable
• Our loving Father who will provide all we need in His perfect time
• Present when we feel alone
• The One who sent the Holy Spirit to comfort us when we need His perfect peace

So, you tell me…Does it help to be a Christian?

I say yes!

Listen to Don Moen’s popular song “God Will Make a Way”

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