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The doctor has a series going on right now discussing Grace in Christianity. Whether you are of a specific faith or believe in higher power, the truths presented are relevant to all those who are searching for meaning and purpose in their struggles, and who may feel alone and helpless.
Recently, we have been discussing issues of depression, loneliness, fear, and whether or why to reveal our chronic illness to others. Today's message on the doc's blog sheds light on why those who suffer are exactly the ones to help others who are suffering.
"But not all meet these insurmountable challenges with frustration and failure. Some — almost ironically, those most profoundly defeated by these very assaults — find another way — a way which turns their very defeats into powerful, yet humble, victories. They find in their brokenness, wholeness; in their hopelessness, hope; in their shattering, salvation and strength. It is a victory not achievable by force of determination or strength of will; its power lies in utter defeat, sanctified and empowered by the embrace of grace.
"One of the many paradoxes of the Christian faith is this: those who are most profoundly defeated are best equipped to help others suffering these same defeats. No one helps an alcoholic like a recovering alcoholic; no one can touch and comfort one mired in depression like one who has experienced that dark hell themselves — and transcended it through grace. We are afflicted that others may be healed.
"There is in today’s culture a toxic strain of Christianity, a bastard born of a great faith incestuously whored with the shallow nihilism of obscenely prosperous materialism, which teaches that we should all be wealthy, all be healed, all be delivered from every difficulty by a simple word of faith or healing prayer. But quick-fix Christianity is a Golden Calf, an empty shell of a faith made great not by wealth and comfort but by the suffering of its saints. We are delivered to deliver others; it is our pain which purchases true freedom."
This is a message which has been tapping at my door, rattling around in my heart recently. I believe that for some reason the struggles I have experienced have come to me for a purpose. Maybe not a gift to myself - but a gift to others. It is what I do with my experience and knowledge which makes it significant. And it is by the Grace of God which I have survived and will continue to thrive.
So here I am - sharing with you - my life open - to let you know that you are not alone in your struggles.