My "bi-polar" faith

James 1:6-8
John 8:36

My family carries a gene mutation that increases the risk of bipolar disorder. My mother and my daughter are both affected although both are currently leading healthy, fulfilling lives with the help of medication and counseling, PTL!

But when I was growing up, my mother was undiagnosed and untreated. She was both the coolest and the harshest mother around. Inconsistency in mood and manner was her consistency. It was the one thing I could count on--that I could not predict her mood.

I have not been diagnosed as bipolar myself, but I have battled with depression from time to time. I understand the flip side of normal days and the blues. I know the joys of "I think I can" and the uncertainty of "I can't". So I understand double-mindedness.

God is not like that, and He asks that we know and trust Him as He is. If we ask in faith without doubting, we will receive what we ask for according to His will.

But how many times do we go to the altar to pray, asking God to deliver us from a situation or to give us a blessing, crying and seeking, and then stand to leave and pick our burden BACK UP! This is what God is referring to.

I have a quote I love, and it applies here:

If you pray, why worry? But if you worry, why pray?

It's so tough to lay our burdens down! Oftentimes, I find I take them back not because I believe I can fix the problem myself but because I have become so defined by my problem that I can't imagine me without my burden. And that's a problem!

In John 8:36 we see that Jesus gives us freedom from our burdens. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." It's a promise. But we see here in James that the man you asks God but doubts, clings to there problem, takes it back, "ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord."

Nothing? Well, I believe we are always under grace, so when we realize we've taken our burden back or not asked in faith, we can get a do-over. What an awesome promise!

I struggle with this daily. I struggle, I pray, and then I feel better. But in weakness, I doubt again and try to fix my own problem. I have a "bi-polar" faith.

But I know that God is faithful and loving, He will continue to develop my faith muscles, healing me of my manic-depressive faith and giving me spiritual health. It may require numerous adjustments (trials and tests), but He will perfect me and make me WHOLE.

I'm willing to be adjusted so that I can be whole; what about you?

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