It’s all backwards.

The dying….and the rising……Everyday, every moment. It’s backwards.

Do you see it?

The upside-down path of following Jesus.

Life is born out of death.

Gratitude is grasped through sincere lamentation before the throne of God.

The way of abundance is the way of embracing surrender and yielding. Our Lord conquered death through willingly dying.

How is it that near-death opens our eyes to the greatness of the kingdom? How is it that the rich young ruler was called to sell all he had to know the richness of abundance of the kingdom? But he chose not to, and it made him sad.

We get to choose: to be full of self with no room for the Savior, or to empty ourselves of us and let Him take residence, ironically and beautifully, making us more in to our truest selves than we could ever imagine.

Dying. This is a season in which I practice death to myself each moment as my brain is on fire with anxiety and OCD. And I get to rise each moment through the resurrection power of my Lord. This healing, in this season, is each moment, as I surrender my blazing, frenzied mind to the authority of the Most High God, and He breaks the authority of chaos with His shalom.

It’s exhausting to battle this moment-by-moment battle with a chemically imbalanced brain. But it’s also one of the greatest set-ups for a life of miracles, over and over, as I partner with the way Maker and miracle-worker by taking each thought captive, surrendering it, and watching God make dead things come to life, lighting up neuropathways of joy, peace, and hope. Sometimes in moments of grief I ask why I have so freaking many thorns in my flesh. Paul had one? No fair! (I promise, I know how much he suffered…a heck of a lot).

But then I am reminded of the upside-down kingdom and my Lord who transforms our weakness into His strength when we live a life of death to self. He’s constantly raising me to new life, and I get to be a walking continuous miracle. That’s a pretty sweet deal, if you understand kingdom economics. It is also amazing fellowship with my wounded Healer.

Also, I wouldn’t have been walking the streets of our neighborhood belting out worship songs tonight if I weren’t battling so many massive brain monsters. So, there you go. My neighborhood benefitted from my battle with anxiety.

Let’s keep dying, and watch God do the resurrecting. And we will meet a kind of abundance that opens our eyes to the trash that we’ve been calling treasure. As C. S. Lewis said, “We are far too easily satisfied.” Please know too, that counseling and medication are wonderful tools as well. #thewayofabundance

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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