A Level Path

Teach me your way, Lord;

lead me in a straight path

because of my oppressors. (Psalm 27:11)

Sometimes I wish it were easier to live with a mental illness. I wish it were more like having a broken leg where treatment, though still painful, is clear and the recovery process, though hard work, is comparatively brief. Instead, treatment for bipolar requires a great deal more trial and error and there is, essentially, no full recovery in this life – only improvement, with many peaks and valleys.

Yet as difficult as bipolar can be, there are still simple truths in Scripture that promote healing. God still shows us the Way through the illness if we turn to the LORD and are willing to obey. There can be level paths along the way for us to follow if we persistently turn away from the enemies within and around us and accept God’s guidance.

Just this week I took a key step that is called for in the Scriptures. During worship, the pastor called for persons struggling with mental illnesses such as bipolar to come forward for an anointing of oil and prayer. Before I had time to talk myself out of it, I stepped out of my pew and went forward. There I found strength surrounded by men laying their hands on me in concerted prayer. If only in the moment, I felt a greater sense of power and purpose.

I don’t know what God intends as the ultimate outcome of this healing prayer, but I do feel better having gone forward and asking for help. It’s been a pretty good week so far. And given some of the weeks I’ve had, that’s saying something. Who knows? Maybe I’m heading down a level path for a while and don’t even yet know it? That would certainly be nice.

Addendum: I wrote this meditation five years ago. It has taken some time, but I have been walking on “level ground” for almost a year now. I’m not out of the woods yet, but the path lately has been very pleasant. God answers prayers – not always in our time frame or in the way we most desire, but in the way that is best for us.

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