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“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name. The righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” (Ps. 142:7)

…spoken by David while hiding in a cave.  Are you hiding in your home today, or in your bed?

Though not confined to an actual prison, David felt imprisoned by his desperate, senseless circumstances.  He had been appointed to become the king of Israel, but instead he became a hunted man.  Not only did he fear the crazed jealousy of King Saul, he felt abandoned and overwhelmed.  David hid, fearing for his life.

You might have good reasons for your desperation, especially if the heaviness of depression suffocates you or symptoms of schizophrenia terrify you.  But note that David trusted God would “deal bountifully” with him. He chose to believe in the faithfulness and goodness of God while facing an absence of visible evidence.¹ David, tucked in his cave, had faith.

Prisons do not breed hope. Prisons tend to feel bare, hard, and cold, yet a Christian grabs hold of scriptural truths that bring warmth to the soul. Biblical truth and understanding can change our perspective about prison walls (whether physical, emotional, or circumstantial).

If you don’t know much about the bible and what God has already done for you through Christ, ask for a pastor or priest to come and teach you. Call the nearest church. Ask the hospital staff or your family to contact someone on your behalf.  Ask, seek, knock, and “you will find”² whether you are in an ALF or at home.

If you think your mind cannot process instruction, or if you constantly forget what you’ve heard, don’t despair.  God comprehends your limitation and can surpass its stiff boundaries.  Like a bird, take small mouthfuls of truth, one swallow at a time.  Ask God to settle you and establish you in each truth.

If you know you rebel against everyone’s instructions and counsel, confess this sin to God and ask for a contrite heart.  As you can see, we ask him for everything.

In whatever way your mind has become imprisoned by torment, damage, deception, or sickness, know that God can still give you spiritual insight and understanding. Like David, who should have been reigning as a king but ended up in a cave, you must place your faith in God’s ability to make his truth clearly understood.  Yes, he can get through, even with symptoms of schizophrenia messing with your mind.

Yes, you can have a precious life of trust in God while facing the symptoms of schizophrenia.

God, Jeremiah prayed, “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved; for thou art my praise.”³ Save me and heal me, God.  Help my unbelief, and hold my grain of faith in you sacred–it’s all I have for now.  I know you do much with little: you lift up those who are bowed down by hardship, you make the lame walk, and you use the weak to overturn the strong, so I know my mustard seed faith can go far. Deal bountifully with me, in whatever way you choose, as a testimony to your name. Thank you and Amen.

¹ Hebrews 11:1

² Matthew 7:7-11

³ Jeremiah 17:14