Wednesday, May 4, 2011
"With a Word"
"That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 'He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.'" - Matthew.
I've never been demon possessed, I don't think... But I think I know what it feels like to be oppressed by demons. Self-loathing, hatred, bitterness and strife - these guys aren't pixies, they're real meanies.
Maybe you caught some of it in my entry yesterday, if anyone reads these successively - "Anyone, anyone, Beuller, BEULLER!.." Yesterday I was in the throws of personal angst, and today I feel like I've had five coffees and three-point-eight energy drinks. Go figure. It's kind of scary being me sometimes. I've been blessed to grace the doors of many a psychologist and psychiatrist (actually I really have been blessed) and have been diagnosed as Obsessive Compulsive, Manic Depressive, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-"ly conduct" and in one of my personal favorites "A worry wart." I'm sort of an anomoly to them. I think I'm human, that's why.
As you can imagine, wearing all these labels makes me a little suspicious of feelings. Feeling particularly high just means I'm manic and feeling low just means I've got a weird wart. I don't take depression lightly, because I've had it almost as long as I can remember.
In fact, part of my reason for writing, is to work through depression. To understand why and how I feel and to allow God to give me feelings that are appropriate. My big reason is to search for God, and get lots of page hits of course.
But for those of you who struggle with depression, you know it's got to be a lot like demon oppression. For those of you who don't struggle, you may have never thought of this.
But if any of you think depression is simply demon possession, please dig yourself a hole, get in it, live there for a week with only water, and then ask yourself the question, "Am I depressed or am I demon possessed?" My guess is you won't know. And it probably won't help to think you are. This is just a mean thought for those out there who dismiss depression, which I'm sure are none of you.
What would it be like to meet Jesus in the passage above? To see him healing demon oppression, sickness and athletes foot (I've got a really bad case) "with a word." This guy Jesus is powerful. More powerful than the tornadoes of emotions that have been swirling through my body for the past few days.
The reference to Isaiah in this passage is striking. Let me type it again: "He took our illnesses and bore our diseases." Jesus didn't just dismiss illness and oppression, he took it on himself. I don't know how deep this goes, or even if I'm enterpreting this right, but there seems to be something in Christ's healings of him bearing peoples burdens. We see it in the cross, but in the healings as well? Hmmm...
But whatever it means, Jesus is familiar with depression. He's familiar with every disease that oppresses his creatures. And as my creator he knows me, intimately. This is sure ground for hope through emotional tornadoes. After all doesn't it say somewhere in our Bibles that "he was acquainted with grief and afflicted with sorrows"?
That's why I love Jesus. Because he's real and he can deal. As I've said before, he's the real deal, and I would certainly not have to ask him to dig a hole. Unless I was building dirt-jumps again, then I might ask him to do some of his fancy magic for me. I wish cause that would be so awesome and narly. Dude, I'd be so stoked!