Silence

I believe it was Soren Kierkegaard who said that if he could recommend one thing for the world, it would be silence. For if the voice of God was even made known, it could not be heard over the silence. As I was driving to and fro my birthplace and my home now, I had that kind of idea on my mind. Believe it or not, I only had the radio on for a CD towards the last leg of my return trip.

The silence gives much to think about. We live in a world saturated with noise. Yet as I drove through nature, the thought occurred to me that we never seem to think of nature as loud. Now there are loud aspects of course. There are thunderstorms and hurricanes and avalanches, but how often would you think of someone saying “Nature is so loud!” We go to nature to get away from it all for it is so silent.

That’s one thing I like about a swimming pool. You can go and be in a pool and just be alone with your silence. In our world, it is hard to find places and times to get away and as I write this, I become of my own lack of experience with nature. I’m an indoors type of guy and I wonder how many of the ancients could actually imagine a life with the most active part being spent indoors.

Could this be a reason we have such a hard time focusing? We have so much noise around us that we find it hard to take in. We tend to have to have something going on. How many housewives will turn on a TV just so they can hear a voice? How many of us can listen to IPods and MP3 players? Do we really take time to just have silence and think?

Maybe we should when we’re driving more often have the radio off and just listen to the sound of nature. Maybe if we go to the ocean we should just sit at times and watch the ocean come in and out and meditate on it. I love being active in the ocean, but maybe at times it’s best to let the ocean be active on us, the way that I tend to let the water in the pool act on me rather than me act on it. I’m not against swimming of course, but I am against doing so much we don’t have time to relax.

Kierkegaard was a smart man, and while I disagree with much of what he said in his approach to apologetics, I do believe he was right on this one. If we are to recover focus, we need to learn the value of silence.

Visiting Mommom

Mommom is the name I have for my grandmother. It just happened when I was a little kid too young to remember that they were trying to teach me to say grandma and it came out “mommom.” The name has stuck. In fact, I recently met a lady who had a grandson who called her the same thing and she said she called her grandmother that.

It was so odd. I felt like she was ripping me off or something.

So today I’m waking up and taking a shower and getting out and going about my day as usual when the phone rings. It’s my mother and my grandmother is in the hospital and she’s not doing well. I call and talk to my grandmother and she sounds worse than I’ve ever heard her sound before. This is my only grandparent left and my thoughts go to “What if?”

Well, I’m not risking it…

Sure, it’s a four and a half hour drive to see her, but who cares?

So that’s what I do. All the while, a million issues are bouncing around in my head and I’m not sure what to think about. It’s amazing that you can reflect on a drive that lasted so long and wonder what you were thinking about the whole time. For me, it was mainly trying to figure out how to get behind the semis so I could enjoy the slipstream.

It could just be that one cannot really focus at times. I was even talking to a friend of mine just now who mentioned A.D.D. personality types that don’t focus well. I was thinking I could relate. We even had a blackout recently and with nothing else to do, I decided to lie down on our couch and just focus on some topic.

That lasted about twenty seconds.

My grandmother though was pleased to see me, although my Dad saw me first and was stunned to see his son return home. He actually thinks her seeing me might have saved her life. My grandmother can tend to be very melancholy. I’d say something hard about that, except I’m the same way. Every silver cloud has a dark lining.

Still, she is doing much better. I ask that my blog readers do keep her in your prayers.

My mother was tickled to see me. I suspect mothers know about these things in some way. All the day she had said she had a suspicion that I would be coming back. Still, it was good to see her again. However, as it stands, I’m spending the night in a motel. For me, just staying with my folks is rather awkward. That’s something for a personality type like mine.

It’s times like this that make you think about things that matter in life. With the Problem of Evil, I could whine and say “Why is this happening?” or I could simply rest in Christ and trust he has an answer. What else can be done after all? This universe isn’t made to focus around me and it isn’t meant to relieve all pain and suffering in my life.

What if God takes her home? I’ll grieve, but as Paul said, not like those who have no hope. (1 Thess. 4:13) I’ve already told my family I would be the speaker at her funeral when that time comes, which I hope doesn’t come for a long time, but I will be ready. It won’t be easy. It’s not supposed to be. It’ll be special though. Christian funerals should have us leaving in happier moods than when we came.

And as I close this, I realize how disjointed this whole thing is. I look and think “Well that describes all the thoughts going on in my head now bouncing around everywhere.” Perchance I am not alone in that and maybe sometime I should write on focus and why I think it might be so hard for some of us to sit down and focus.

Provided I can sit down and focus on that issue.

That is for another blog though.

Well everyone, good night from where I am and do keep praying for my grandmother.

The Cross: God’s Solution

I have a theory on the Problem of Evil. My thinking is that not all suffering is necessarily evil. Just because you don’t like something or it gives unpleasant feelings doesn’t mean it’s evil. If you step into a hot bath for instance, at first, there is a surge of pain, but in a way, you want that pain. If you work out regularly, you enjoy the pain that you feel from doing so at times.

Now there are some pains no one enjoys also, but at the same time, it doesn’t follow that they’re necessarily evil. It takes more than not liking something for it to be evil and it takes more than liking something for that to be good. What I’ve concluded in this is that evil is actions and that means that evil exists when moral agents exist be they human or non-human such as God, angels, etc.

When looked at that way, the problem of evil is really the problem of sin. What goes against the nature of a God who is all good? That is what is sin. Many of us complain about natural disasters that happen and we wonder why. I have a harder time with the evil though that I see in my own heart, and I’m hoping most of you are the same.

If we want to see examples of evil actions, we can find plenty in our own lives every day. If we look at our past, we will find evil. Most of us are quite sure the future holds plenty of it as well. This is one reason I don’t really speak on the sins of others too often. I call it sin of course, but I always remember that “There but for the grace of God go I.” I haven’t been a saint my whole life either.

That is why I see the cross as the solution to the problem of evil. The cross deals with the problem of sin. Let’s see what Scripture says about the cross and evil.

John 12:31

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

Ephesians 2:16 speaking of unity between Jews and Gentiles

and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Colossians 2:15

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

The cross is where the battle took place. The final declaration of that victory is coming, but for all intents and purposes, we fight a defeated foe. The battle is already won. Sin has been dealt with. Sinners are being reconciled and God is forgiving their sins based on the sacrifice of his Son. Sin was allowed to be punished as sin and people were allowed to be saved as people.

Does any other worldview have this?

The Problem of Evil as I have said is everyone’s problem. Everyone has to find an explanation, but most seem to want to avoid the most real evil of all. What about the evil in their own hearts? Christ gives me an answer to that. He tells me that I am a sinner, and it is true. I do not need convincing of that. Then he takes my sin and the punishment for it upon himself and offers me his holiness in exchange. He gives me the Holy Spirit that I might live a new life and be the man I ought to be.

In fact, it is by him that we are allowed to be us. The BOM says in it “Adam fell that man might be, and man is that he might have joy.” Christianity gives the true answer. Christ came that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. Christ enables me to be the human being I was meant to be, one that walks reflecting him.

The cross, God’s solution to evil.

God’s Help For Evil

A few years ago, I did do a debate on the Problem of Evil and while I do believe I won that debate, I came to realize more about evil and came to realize the Christian answer more. We have to confess that we do not know the reason behind several events of suffering. I don’t think we’re supposed to. It’s hard to say why God allows some things to happen and many of us wonder this ourselves. The Bible is full of people who wondered the same thing.

I remember my own experiences of suffering. I remember having anxiety attacks and crying for some sort of deliverance. I remember those times when I’d feel the fear rise up within me and I’d feel my pulse quicken. I describe the two great fears to my friends that entered my mind then and I’ve found this to be common with people who suffer anxiety disorders.

#1-I’m going to die.

#2-I’m not going to die.

At this point, I wasn’t familiar with apologetics and as one without much content to my faith, I was floundering. I believe apologetics was a lifesaver and slowly, my calmness began returning and I found I was a different person with more confidence than I had had before.¬† This was a first for me in this debate though and the answer is amazing to me.

God doesn’t promise us answers. He just promises to be with us. The problem is, we’re not usually aware that he is. We expect grand lights and the heavens to open and miracles to take place. We expect to hear his voice or have warm fuzzies or something of that sort. I don’t think it’s usually meant to be like that. I say again, the problem is not him but us.

I had an awareness of this a few months ago at the beach. As I was heading towards a little shop on the ocean walking through the sand I thought about my faith and the thought hit me. “God is here.” Unfortunately for me, I didn’t really linger on that. I don’t know if you have that problem but I do. It’s hard to focus on your faith at times and a thought that should be wowing just isn’t. I think it’s a sad reality if you grow up in a country where the gospel is treated as common knowledge.

That is his promise. He will be with us. Many of us I think wouldn’t mind suffering if we knew God was with us. He is! The problem is we don’t believe he is. We expect we’ll feel something if he is or he’ll make himself known in an obvious way. How often does God do that though? Scripture records the rare events after all. It doesn’t record the common.

In fact, most of the gospel message should excite us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. When I was in Bible College and did my senior sermon before my student body, this was what I preached on. We live in an age where wonder is dead and if we don’t have any wonder in the message of the gospel, then we won’t appreciate it and trust it.

Even as I write this, I feel that excitement of wonder but then wonder how long it will last.

Suffering friend. Keep this in mind. Scripture tells you that God is there. You don’t have to feel it for him to be there. Heaven doesn’t have to open. He is there. He is omnipresent. You cannot escape him. He is always there and he does always care about what is going on in your life. You may not know the reason, but he has not promised you a reason yet. He has only promised you himself.

What Color is Blue?

I know we’re getting away from evil some, but sometimes things happen and it’s my prerogative to change course if I desire. Friday, we had Mormons up at our house for what seems to be the last time. They decided to give up on us at this point. However, there was a most revealing part of this exchange that absolutely stunned me on the cultist mindset.

My roommate was doing an excellent job of dealing with the translation of Joseph Smith of Genesis 1:1 in the King Follett Discourse while I was looking up another passage of Scripture. He was showing them that quite frankly, Joseph Smith did not translate that passage right. I will never forget the answer that we had and how stunned I was by it.

When the Mormons came over, we were always gracious hosts and we offered them water or anything to drink if they wanted it. Sometimes we even got pizza in advance. So one of them had a glass of Glacier Freeze gatorade with them. For those who do not know, this is the blue kind of gatorade and frankly of the mixes of gatorade one can get and make, it’s the best.

He held up that glass of gatorade and said that the way he sees it, if the prophet were to say that this glass of blue gatorade was red, he’d believe it was red.

I’m still floored by that.

I find it amazing that one can give such authority to a man that so many things would be believed like that. Blue cannot be red simply. If it is red, then by definition it cannot be blue because due to the law of identity blue is blue and red is red. Now something could have elements of red and blue (A beachball for instance), but it could not be both completely blue and completely red. (If it was attempted, one would end up with purple.)

And what is that based on? It’s not based on sound reasoning. It’s based on an experience. While we were presenting facts on how there are problems with the BOM and the Bible, all we got from the other side was “We have a testimony” and apparently, this testimony is one that basic sense experience could be called into question on.

Now if I’m looking at something from a distance, there is a chance your view could be mistaken. However, the closer you get, you reach a point where you can rest assured that your viewpoint is not mistaken. I do not doubt that each key I am hitting on my computer says the letter I believe it says on it and when I read a book, I do not doubt that the letters I see are the letters that are on the page.

How far will this go? Ultimately, it will be that in that case, it is not the Mormon doing the thinking. It is the prophet doing the thinking for them. They do not believe based on sound reason and evidence. It is based instead on what someone else says and how can one be sure that this is someone that can be trusted? I trust Christ, but Christ proved he can have my trust by claiming to be God and showing it by rising from the dead.

If someone wants to follow a prophet like that, go ahead, but I ask anyone to remember this. That is trust that you will have to give an answer to God for someday and if he is not true, having a burning in the bosom won’t make a difference on that day.

A Review of Get Smart

A friend of mine and I went to see this movie tonight. I was the one familiar with the original TV series that I used to watch regularly on Nick at Nite and thoroughly enjoyed. Thus, many of the funny jokes I was expecting such as the cone of silence and I had also informed my friend on many of them and got to sit back and relive the whole series again.

I did think Steve Carell did a good job as Maxwell Smart, but there was something missing. Maybe it’s more of a side of me that just thinks of the original Don Adams as irreplacable. Carell was able to imitate quite well a lof of the Maxisms that made Maxwell Smart who he was. It even seemed like he was doing the voice as much as possible.

And of course, there’s agent 99 who had originally been portrayed by Barbara Feldon. (And no, her real name was never given in the movie. As far as I know, on the series, it was only revealed in the first episode to be Susan and never mentioned again.) The attitude of 99 was different though as she started out rather annoyed with her new partner. Anne Hathaway who played 99 in this one though did look the part. Both styles of her hair matched the original 99. As I was telling our friend, Anne Hathaway in this one was a perfect 99. (I also mentioned her being a perfect ten. What can I say? I’m a guy and she did have my attention as soon as she showed up.)

Be warned parents. There is some language in this movie and while there are no sex scenes, there are certainly innuendos. For those of you into politics, expect to see some digs at the current administration in this one. These were the only problems that I could see in the movie. My opinion is that it was a good portrayal and tribute to the original series nevertheless.

As for a Christian message, my idea along these lines is of the unexpected Messiah type. Christianity always has the underdog coming out and being the hero. A lowly shepherd boy slays a giant and becomes the king. An old man with an old woman who both have no children becomes the father of many nations. A podunk town of Nazareth becomes the town that brings us the savior of the world.

And so it is with Maxwell Smart in this one. A geeky analytical mindset who memorizes everything he writes ends up becoming the person that stops an evil organization from pulling off a sinister plan. (Yes. I’m lacking in details for the sake of those of you who haven’t seen this yet.) This is often a comfort for those of us who have grown up in less than glamarous conditions.

My final suggestion? If you liked the Get Smart series, go see this movie. If you never saw the Get Smart series, go see it anyway. This one is a laugh and you’ll be enjoying yourself all throughout the movie. This is definitely a movie I’d like to put into my personal DVD library when it comes out on DVD. (And yeah, the job done by Anne Hathaway didn’t hurt it.)

Evil Has A Purpose

One thing important to keep in mind with the problem of evil is that evil does have a purpose. It is not a creation of God, but it is used by God. If Christianity is true, then Christianity says that there is a reason for every happening in the world. It does not tell us that we can know that reason at this point in time, but it does assure us that there is one. We simply must trust.

Let’s consider this point though because this is fundamental to the Problem of Evil. Somehow, if we believe there is some reason to the suffering that we are undergoing, then that makes it all the easier. It doesn’t make it a joyride, but it makes it more bearable. The idea of gratuitous evil is one often raised by skeptics of the faith. Unfortunately, they would have to have omniscience to know there is no such thing as gratuitous evil, that is, evil that is meaningless.

Let’s consider the question from another perspective though. What about anything else? Does anything have any purpose? Does good have a purpose? If something good happens in your life, does that have a purpose? What about your life itself? Does your life have a purpose? Do you really think that the nature of your life is a cosmic accident?

After all, if this is simply a cosmic accident, then the skeptic is right. There is no purpose of evil. However, it is a far worse situation than he realizes. There is also no purpose in good. Things simply are. There is no such thing as evil ultimately and there is no such thing as good. Life is a pitiful and meaningless existence and we are born, we live, and we die, the end.

For the problem of evil to work, there must be some purpose. There must be some good for the evil to be affecting. What is it though? What is there that is good? If there is good, then there is purpose in the world. Where does this purpose come from? How can there be a final cause to all that is if all that is simply an accident?

Ultimately, this is another way the problem of evil self-destructs. Without the objective moral standard, you can’t define evil. Without the purpose of good, then you can’t complain about evil having no purpose as there is no purpose. It’s useless to look for purpose in anything, even the so-called good. Maybe your loved one died of cancer. That person is just gone entirely, no point to their existence, and they will become dirt soon enough. It makes one think of how C.S. Lewis said about his wife’s death that if she doesn’t exist now, she never did exist. He was not in love with a person but a set of molecules.

If Christ is true though, your loved one can live again and will. There is a purpose to life. It is the glory of God. How does that help us in evil? Well, that’s another blog.

It’s Everyone’s Problem

One thing that is often forgotten in the debates on the Problem of Evil is that this is seen as just the Christian’s problem. Now in a sense, I’ll agree it’s a problem. However, it is not just my problem. It is everyone’s problem. The Christian needs an answer, but so does the deist, the Muslim, the Jew, the Hindu and even the atheist.

For instance, let us suppose that we do have an atheistic worldview. The first question to answer is “What is the basis by which one differentiates between good and evil?” I have yet to see such a standard given. Now I realize there are answers given, but they lack validity. It is a form of relativism that cannot really explain the problem of evil as the problem must have an absolute standard.

If moral relativism holds the day though, then there is no such thing as the problem of evil. Things are not good and things are not evil. They simply are. The problem of evil hits us all because we do think there’s something wrong with the world. Something is not the way it ought to be. That immediately hits us though with the idea that the world ought to be a better way.

We could take a pantheistic approach and say that evil is an illusion. Which of us really thinks that though? It is like the joke about the Christian scientist boy who went to his teacher and told him to pray for his Dad who’s sick. The teacher said “You don’t know our teachings well! He only thinks he’s sick! He must remember this is an illusion.” The boy hears that and goes back home. He comes back the next week and the teacher asks him how his Dad is doing. “Oh. He thinks he’s dead.”

Somehow, when we hear about a plane crash or a school shooting, we think that something has happened. When we stub our toe or have a stomach ache, we think we are really feeling pain. When we suffer anxiety due to a bill that’s just arrived or we have depression after the death of a loved one, we think that we are really feeling something.

Or, we could take the Christian answer with the problem of evil and call it what it really is. It’s the problem of sin. With that, we can see evil being actions that are done not in accordance with the nature of God. If this is the case, and I’m quite sure it is, then we can look and see which worldview is it that deals accurately with the nature of sin.

In the end, I believe it will come to the Christian worldview. We have the cross, the ultimate answer. God participates in our sufferings. He takes on our punishment. He sets us free from the prison of sin by paying the price we could not pay. God is not just an outside observer in the drama of evil. He participates in it by taking it upon himself in a way we cannot even fathom.

Yes. There is a problem. I believe Christ is the solution to it. Anyone else thinking they have a better solution can certainly bring it forward, but rest assured, they must have some answer.

Don’t Be An Apologist!

Some of you are probably surprised by the title, but I’m not talking about a career choice. We’re talking about dealing with emotional evil. Now if you’re an apologist, you should naturally deal with the rational problem of evil and I encourage that. However, I am going to share for tonight a piece of advice that I have given to several people I have spoken to on apologetics.

I ask them to picture themselves in ministry of some sort and a crying mother comes into their office. Let’s suppose that her teenage son just died in a car accident when a drunk driver slammed into his car. This is a distraught mother who has just heard the news and in the midst of her constant sobbing she says “Why did God let this happen?”

My advice is that if you turn into an apologist at that point, you are messing up big time. I have threatened to come over and smack them if I hear about them doing that.

As much as you might love philosophy, it would be wrong at this point to say “Well Mrs. X, God gave us free-will and some people abuse that free-will.” The lady may be asking one thing but the question is one that doesn’t need an answer then. What she needs at that point is a friend and a counselor and a minister. She does not need a philosopher, a theologian, or an apologist.

I’ll also add this point to my male listeners. Men. Be very careful counseling women. I urge you to switch them over to other women as soon as possible.

However, getting back to our lady, she is dealing with the emotional problem. Even if you can answer her questions on the rational problem, it’s not going to help her with her emotional distress. She needs you to just listen mainly at that point and be there. This is the time when it’s good to remember that God is there with us in our sufferings. Prayer would be better than debate now.

Now later on, she might be open to discussing such issues. When she is, then fine. Feel free to discuss them. At this point though, don’t do so. It is a strong temptation and you will want to do so, especially if you’re of the intellectual bent and don’t really know how to deal with a lot of issues that are emotional in nature.

One other thing. In dealing with emotional evil, it will always make it easier if one has a firm explanation in a worldview beforehand. Remember though, you won’t know the reason behind every suffering. In fact, can you really say you know the exact reason behind any suffering? Our job is not to explain a particular case of evil but the general case of evil.

Remember, answers are good, but sometimes, they’d just be pouring salt on wounds. Be a friend first and an apologist later.

Am I Aloof From Evil?

I plan to spend some time focusing on the emotional aspect of evil as this is where it hits home. Consider for instance how C.S. Lewis wrote “The Problem of Pain” where he dealt a master blow to the Problem of Evil. That sounds really good on paper and it is indeed, until his wife died. Then, he wrote “A Grief Observed” and one saw a different side. Now Lewis did still trust in the end, but the difference was an emotional experience.

I’ll grant I’m young. I haven’t lived as long as many, but I have lived and I have seen evil and I want to write about some that I have seen so readers reading me on emotional evil won’t think I’m distant to the problem. I will also say that what I write of is suffering often, but I don’t consider every form of suffering evil.

Probably the first major event I recall is eye surgery. When I was born, I was born cross-eyed. I had surgery at a young age, but I had to have it again when I was eight years old. I remember riding in the backseat to the hospital around 4:30 and hearing a song on the radio I heard identified as “Theme From Mahogany.” That song now always brings back memories and seems like a lifesong in many ways.

I do have humorous memories of that time. I remember waking up and looking at my mother, but trying to figure out which one she was. I had double vision for awhile, which was really cool since I was able to watch TV and see it twice over. Apparently though, I was in good condition for although I was to stay overnight, the doctor said I was good enough to go home that evening.

I was also born with some birth defects. I don’t really want to describe them a lot here, but I will say I don’t really have muscle at all. I weigh around 120 pounds for instance. When I was in fifth grade, I went to the hospital one day for a muscle biopsy and I had a good friend come with me. (Who I recently found again on facebook.) That’s one of my best memories of that day.

I remember they wanted to give me this awful medicine to knock me out. My mother was there and promised to buy me the video game of my choice if I could drink it all. Even with that incentive, I couldn’t do it. (It was that bad!) I was told if I didn’t drink it, I’d have to have the gas.

So can we go on and get the gas?

And I did, no problem. I ended up getting the game anyway. (Final Fantasy Legend 2!) The results of the biopsy were inconclusive also. It doesn’t look good on a guy to lack muscle, but I manage.

Of course, being small in school and being the intellectual geek was not a good combination. I was generally an outsider and only had a few friends. That and I was never a trouble-maker in anyway. I thank apologetics for helping me overcome my being so shy and wish I had known about that in High School especially, although I was known as a strong Christian.

It was in High School that two specific events of suffering came in.

The first was scoliosis surgery. I had a 42 degree curvature in my spine so that meant going in and cutting my back open and putting a steel rod on my spine. I only saw the rod aspect, but my Dad tells me it’s like I have an Erector set in my back. Rest assured, it hurt! I woke up in ICU and I don’t know when I was asleep really and when I wasn’t. I remember my mother singing “Amazing Grace” to me, the only song she could remember. I love her singing and I requested her to sing something. I remember watching Price is Right some as a gameshow junkie, but it is all hazy. The main thing I remember is I was taking even baby steps in ICU. That might not seem like much to you, but trust me, it’s a lot!

The next few months were extremely painful though. This was a couple of months before I turned 16 also. While most were learning how to drive, I was learning how to walk again. I had to have fellow students help me from my classes and had to leave classes five minutes early simply because I couldn’t risk having someone bump into me hard in the hallway.

Looking back on the hospital though, it was a hard time. My IV had an alarm that let anyone know when it was empty. I was on a system where pushing a button, I’d give myself medication when needed. I was on morphine also. Yes. That’s how strong it was. I could hardly sleep at night and then when I fell asleep, I’d have to be turned over.

The drive home was a nightmare when the time came. I felt every single bump on the road we drove over. I am not kidding. If we drove over a pebble, I felt it. When I was home, I had to have my parents help me go up and down the stairs and for awhile, I was so loaded on medication I was going to the bathroom every 45 minutes. (Hence, I don’t drink caffeinated sodas today.)

Then there was the time that the girl I’d had a crush on since Elementary school came to see me. Now every guy in here knows what I’m talking about. I had to lie in bed, but by golly, I was no weakling! I sat up the whole time she was there and we just chatted. Yes. Foolish idiot that I was that needed to look tough before my lady. I sat up.

Ouch.

Probably the worst was the stomach aches. Apparently, they had to take out my stomach when they did the surgery and stretched it some and it took a lot to get used to. We tried every medication for stomach aches and I’d just feel like my stomach was going to explode at times. Today, things are pretty much normal, but I don’t know how I made it through that.

The other event in High School was that I got struck with panic attacks and depression. I think it’s a miracle I am here today. It was finding apologetics in Bible College that really helped set me free. My Christian faith was no longer just a faith of actions. It had real content to it. This stuff was true and I could make a difference through this.

I have a special heart for helping people who are in depression or who are OCD as I tend to be or who are dealing with doubt. I also fully endorse Christians using medication to deal with depression. I was on it for awhile. I see no shame in it. There are actually physical problems in the brain that can be treated by drugs and should be.

Today, I am living out my dream and working to go through school. I don’t like my job now, which is a form of suffering, I still live with disabilities and they’re generally unknown to the populace, but I’ve surpassed all that people would say and done things that they said that I wouldn’t do.

I know about evil though. I’m not saying I’ve suffered more than others. I haven’t. I’m not saying I’ve seen it all. I haven’t. I’m writing this so that when I start writing on emotional evil, you will know that I am a fellow sufferer who is speaking from experience.

For this will be said, my suffering does not make me abandon my faith. If anything, it’s strengthened it. My suffering has a purpose. It is for the glory of God, and oddly enough, I will be the beneficiary someday.

I have trusted Christ with my suffering. He will go through it with me, and the end product will be great.