For anyone diagnosed with severe mental disorder, good news abounds in scripture and also in the world around us. No matter how severely schizophrenia affects you, no matter how critical your situation appears, the doors to relief or recovery are not bolted shut. Arduous, exhausting, mind-numbing—those words might apply right now, but please do not accept defeat, even if you’ve beat on every door in town looking for help. Incurable, untouchable, hopeless–those words do not apply to you.
You might have already heard:
- Up to 60% of schizophrenics recover. Doctors and counselors now recognize what it takes to provide the best environment for a healing, restorative process. Early treatment, cognitive therapy, permanent housing, and supportive relationships all play a role. Even if you find resources hard to find, there is a better network of help than ever before.
- Researchers are aggressively seeking to understand all diseases involving the mind, including Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia, schizophrenia, and depression. Breakthroughs have taken place in neuroplasticity, genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology and neurorehabilitation. New treatments that do not involve medication are being discovered.
- Organizations such as NAMI and Bring Change 2 Mind expose the stigma of mental illness and work to overcome the misconceptions and bias prevalent in our culture.
- God’s goodness has not changed. For centuries, men and women have lived through persecution, deprivation, poverty, alienation, sickness, and the sins of others, by the grace of God. They prevailed by faith in him and by the prayers of believers. He remains a rock of strength for us today, and our door, our way, our great physician, our consoler, our intercessor.
- God delights in mercy. The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works (Ps. 145:8, 9). We will look at many blog entries about his attributes in the weeks to come.
I know you would prefer a miracle that would end your torment tomorrow. No one wants to live another day with a mind or body that seems out of control. The only solution we see possible, or want, is a miracle, but I often think of the widow at Zarephath who was at the point of death, along with her son.
She lived helpless and hopeless in a land ravaged by famine, and she could find help nowhere. A prophet named Elijah appeared and performed a miracle that saved her life. Yet he still left her in the country of famine without a husband or a job. No perfect ending, but a way to live.
No one can predict what the work of God will look like in your life. He might do a sudden powerful act that changes you forever or he might sustain you through someone who shows you unconditional love. Placing such love in someone’s heart is a miraculous work of its own.
Will he send a prophet or a simple phone number that will lead to help? Will he heal you? No one knows, but he’ll use all sorts of means to help you and every ounce of it will be good news. He never considers your case hopeless, incurable, or untouchable. That truth, beloved, leaves you at an open door.