Shrink Wrapped

Today, there are a number of gifted folks who are burned out with life, disappointed, despondent, and marginalized to the sidelines no longer on the playing field.  Many have been deeply hurt and have isolated themselves.  I want to apologize to you regarding the bullying and insensitivity of the personal agendas of some people who candidly don’t care how you feel or at least don’t seem like they do. If you are bitter and offended and have isolated yourself, I am going to ask you to consider two things.

First, read Proverbs 18:1 and seek to understand what this means for your life,Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”  I spent 30 years in self-isolation from ministry ashamed of being buried in the darkness of depression and did not want anyone to know how bad off I was spiritually.  I called this part of my life “shrink wrapped by the devil” who wanted to reduce the effectiveness of my life by living in isolation with minimal influence on others.  Those years were multiple cycles of deep dark fear and frustration.  Finally, Pam and I were encouraged and challenged by a Life Group leader who had patiently earned my trust to get involved in a ministry mentoring young couples before they were married.  God started working in me.  I came out of my self-imposed cave and started to cut through “the strands of a spider web” laden with lies that had choked me.  Once, I started to break free from isolation, God began to minister to and free me steadily.  Please, get out of your self-isolation.  “Chew on” the following verses and allow them to guide you.  Matthew 11:28-30 tenderly calls us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  You will never regret being yoked to Jesus.  He will free you.

Second, allow someone to help you to heal.  Galatians 6:1&2, “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness… Bear one another’s burdens.”  Romans 15:1&2, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”  Allow a trusted Godly person to support your restoration. Hey, it is humbling but you need a patient, tender hand from someone who is healthy, whole, and real.  1 Peter 5:6&7 is clear, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

It’s time to get out of the dark cave of isolation.  Allow God who is patient and trustworthy to shine His light in the crevices of your soul, to speak truth that will heal the lies in the dark recesses of your mind, and to clean up the debris from your years in darkness.  Freedom is such a beautiful thing.

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