When I saw the frozen frost pattern on my windshield, I could not help but be amazed at the beauty of the plant leaf patterns. All these patterns were out of chaos yet became creations of life given the right environment. In science, fractals, and chaos work the same way. If chaotic random numbers are put into an equation for a triangle and plotted, you get infinite patterns of triangles within triangles. It is amazing because it is just like crystal structures and how they grow in metals and rocks! So, what does this have to do with mental health? Some might even think math probably caused most of our mental health issues in school. In the chaos of life, God’s living Word is what brings order if the environment is receptive.
A common occurrence at Christian Bible colleges is for people to ask for counseling. Yet after spending a semester putting God’s word into them for about 4 hours a day, they no longer need counseling. What happened? Scripture tells us to meditate on God’s Word day and night (Joshua 1:8). God’s Word should be on our tongues every moment, (not in an overly religious behavior), but in love and humility with confidence (Proverbs 17:27, James 1:25-26). For this to happen we need to have God’s Word in us and our hearts willing to receive. We also need the Holy Spirit to reveal what to say, who to say it to, and when to say it. God’s Word is like a seed that grows within us. Our part is receiving His word with joy and protecting it in our hearts. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) and if he can steal God’s Word out of our hearts or keep us wrapped up in the worries of the world, he can lead us back into captivity (Isaiah 5:13). I say back into captivity because Christ HAS set us free (Romans 8:2) but we still have free will (Galatians 5:16-17). Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus gave us a counselor in the Holy Spirit, a guide for direction in all things (John 14:16-18). God’s Word, as is laughter, is medicine to our bodies (Hebrew 4:12, John 6:63. Proverbs 17:22).
If I can encourage one thing with mental health, it is to reach out asap. You are not alone! Mental health challenges can be the result of accidental issues such as medication reactions from pain killers, mercury tooth fillings, concussions, relationships, etc. They can also be largely created by what we think about, what we meditate on every day, or what we surround ourselves. Regardless of the reason, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) so we can let go of the past and look to the future. (This is not a license to walk away from a spouse). Our thoughts turn into physical issues over time as can what we speak. I was doing that to myself allowing stress to literally poison my system for a time until the simple truth finally sunk in; “if you don’t like the thought you are having, have a different thought!”. I began to focus on every good thing already in me in Christ Jesus and cast my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). Within three months, the physical pain was gone. The hard part was not re-picking up the junk again. This is where having someone to keep us on track helps (Ecclesiastes 4:9, Proverbs 11:14, 12:15, 19:20-21, 15:22).
Help comes in many ways .God has blessed us with doctors and medications (Ezekiel 47:12). He also gave us the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). He gave us a Spirit of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). However, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and as a man thinketh so he is (Proverbs 23:7). Taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) is paramount in mental health! Thinking about what is good and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8), acknowledging every good thing already in us in Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6), and not forgetting all God’s blessings (Psalms 103:2) will change our lives. God did not call us to walk life alone! He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Matthew 28:20). Even the name of Jesus, Immanuel, means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). A child was born to take our sicknesses and infirmities (Matthew 8:17) for us and bring us peace, and goodwill towards man. That is exactly what Jesus did, praise God! He made us the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21), removed all our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:11-12), and set us free from bondage, sickness, and our past mistakes (Romans 6:17-18).In Jesus, we are a new creation (2Corinthians 5:17)! Seek Him first (Matthew 6:33), seek help from those who will build you up in your true identity in Christ, and reach out. There is hope! Let God's Word turn your chaos into beauty (Isaiah 61:3), for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). You are loved far more than you know (John 3:16)!