Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Formula for Sanity

I was thinking the better part of the day yesterday about sanity and came up with a little equation:

Grace = Sanity

Simplistic I know... but profound. You and I may know many people know are sane who know nothing about God or His grace... please stick with me for a moment or two.

Here one Biblical example:

"And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones." Mark 5:2-5 KJV

Here is the end of an account of that man.

"Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 'Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.' And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him." Luke 8:35-39 ESV

He was it his right mind. Before Jesus came no man could bind this man but he was trapped in his mind and as an outsider. No more.

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." John 10:9 KJV

You might say that sanity is the ability, wherewithal and awareness to go 'in and out' of concepts, situations and social circles.

Without God people can make it in to things but may never find their way out. Maybe it is the reverse... they go out but can't come back in. Direction can be lost. People no longer see a way in or a way out and retreat into destruction or irrational cycles.

Grace gives a way in and a way out for eternal things and not just temporal ones.

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise." Isaiah 43:18-21 ESV

There is no way into the past to change it. But we can be free in our minds anyway.

I want to be sensitive and clear. Our bodies may betray us because of the effects of the fall and because of that our emotions can be slow to respond. Mental illness is a complex issue and takes many forms. Still, Sanity is within our grasp if we hold grace close to our bosom.

There are pastures on our path that will nourish us as we travel with God from the present into the future and there are no situations that we will go into alone and none that we will not come out of again because of God's care.

He will ultimately bring us out alive. Even death can not hold us.

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