THE GRAND FUNK
Have you ever felt it? Have you ever been in a dark place where any movement on your part will only bury you alive? Have you ever felt so naked, so stripped down, unveiled, exposed, unmasked, vulnerable, defenseless … have you ever felt raw? There’s hope.
When a person is in that state they are unable to articulate their pain. They become withdrawn and reclusive. Suddenly, they have nothing to say, no opinion to contribute. Nothing is worth the effort of stringing words together to form a thought. Everything they say and do comes from a place of emptiness, an emptiness that just can’t be filled by another human being, no matter how much they love you. You might not want to die, but the thought of continuing in life is exhausting. There’s Hope.
People seem to need a name for this “condition”. Some call it Bi-polar or depression. Others call it Seasonal Affective Disorder and some just refer to it as a lack of faith.
Against every bit of judgment, good or bad, I am going to expose myself. At the risk of worrying my family and friends, let me state for the record that I am not suicidal so don’t rush over or call; don’t worry and don’t feel guilty if we haven’t touched base in some time.
Several times a year I go through what I call a grand funk. It is a state that I seem to slip into ever so slowly that I don’t even recognize what is happening until I am full on engulfed by it. Most often, by then, there is nothing anyone can do to help me for the most part because they don’t know what is going on. I have become quite adept at hiding the ugly little truth. For certain, there is that part of me that wants people to think I’ve always got it all together and I can handle everything that life throws at me – even though I’m sure no one actually thinks that. No, this “thing” takes hold of me. It wraps itself around me and squeezes until there is almost nothing left of me. My silence gives it power. I become fearful that people might misunderstand if I tell them what is going on.
I’ve also become accomplished at changing masks, wearing whatever mask I believe needs to be worn at any particular moment. I’ve been afraid to be the real me so much so that there are times I’m not even sure where I begin and the mask ends. It sounds rather pathetic to say but when I’m in this state, I haven’t the foggiest idea who I am. I believe however that it is the very action of veiling my truth that becomes a generating station of denial that only serves to sink me deeper and deeper into the funk. Who am I trying to impress?
So, you might be wondering, why I am sharing this? Or perhaps you’re thinking you should call 9-1-1. Why am I exposing my pain for all to see? Why am I doing the very thing that I have kept private and hidden from so many, so well, and for so long? It hurts too much to bury it. I feel like I’m being pulled into it deeper. Keeping it in doesn’t seem to be serving me any purpose. The funk must have a function. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Do I actually benefit from the state of raw? Is there any good that can possibly come out of an experience where someone is so exposed that every nerve throbs and the thoughts they think hurt? I think there is.
I have heard some well-meaning people tell me that I should pray more or that I lack faith and that is why this happens to me. But they are wrong. Maybe this doesn’t happen to me but happens for me; maybe it happens to me for others. There is only one certainty when I am in the funk: by God’s grace and mercy, I will prevail. I will be victorious. Some would argue, what kind of God would allow you thrash about in quicksand for an indeterminate period of time? The fact is that only a loving God would allow it because there is something that needs to be learned and shared. Experience tells me that no matter how long the funk lasts He will rescue me and I will always come out better than when I went in. I have learned to ride the wave and hang on to Him for my very life. There are absolutely times that I FEEL I’ll not make it this time, but I KNOW that I will because He has NEVER left me or forsaken me … never. He is the Hope I hang on to.
Each time I go through this, I become a stronger person, but more importantly, I become a more compassionate person. I know what people are going through and I can usually see it coming before they become fully overtaken by it. My journey has taught me that I am able to stand along another and say, “I know Someone who can help.” Faith is believing in what you cannot see because you know it will be, even though it doesn’t feel so.
If you’re in a funk at this moment, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that you’re not crazy. I want you to know that it is not a lack of faith that got you to this point but faith will sustain you while you are there and He will lead you out. You will overcome. You will be victorious.
Be the best you that you can be today and don’t measure your goodness and value by someone else’s standards. If you can barely “be” at this moment, hang on to all hope. Hang on for dear life because life is precious.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
My Hope is in Jesus.
To live in a world where people care about and spend a moment learning why they are the way they are….
What I wouldn’t give
A few years ago I hosted an enrichment class at my house for a ministry that I was involved in. Each person was given a personality profile assessment ( Myers Briggs) and a spiritual gift analysis. It actually ignited irritation…and passive aggressive behavior.
The truth is that people do not want direction or suggestions that do not fit their mind set. Their mind set is usually made up of selfish ambition.
The truth is that being an ISFJ does not mean that I NEVER think instead of feel. It only suggests that I am naturally a feeler. I, in fact have many moments where I am very intuitive. That being true doesn’t erase the fact that I am naturally prone to sensing.
And the spiritual gift analysis. Would you ask your foot to comb your hair? No. Can you use your foot to comb your hair? Absolutely. Your spiritual gifts are not meant to be a cage or an excuse. It’s a helpful tool. I personally score terribly low in mercy. That does not mean that I am excused from practicing mercy.
My point is this… Love people for who they are, starting with yourself. Trying to change someone because they don’t think like you is an insult to them and to their Creator.
I believe it best to have a teachable spirit and a humble heart. I do not believe nor do I mistake criticism for gentle directives. Constructive criticism is still criticism.
“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Ephesians 4:15-16 NKJV
I have been misunderstood my whole life through. People are quick to think they know me when actually they only know what they want to know. The good and the bad. I am passionate, I am deep, and even if I am misunderstood, I am finally ok with that.
Jesus revealed a secret that protects our happiness from the threat of suffering and the threat of success. That secret is this: Great is your reward in heaven. And the sum of that reward is enjoying the fullness of the glory of Jesus Christ (John 17:24).
He protects our happiness from suffering when he says,
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. (Matthew 5:11–12)
Our great reward in heaven rescues our joy from the threat of persecution and reviling.
He also protects our joy from success when he says,
Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
The disciples were tempted to put their joy in ministry success. “Even the demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17). But that would have severed their joy from its only sure anchor.
So Jesus protects their joy from the threat of success by promising the great reward of heaven. Rejoice in this: that your names are written in heaven. Your inheritance is infinite, eternal, sure.
Our joy is safe. Neither suffering nor success can destroy its anchor. Great is your reward in heaven. Your name is written there. It is secure.
Jesus anchored the happiness of suffering saints in the reward of heaven. And he anchored the happiness of successful saints in the same.
And thus he freed us from the tyranny of worldly pain and pleasure.
January 31, 2015 Guard against delusion. Don’t have a mistaken notion that you are doing the word when you are only hearing the word and not doing what it says. Don’t delude yourself. Instead examine yourself truthfully and then let Me examine you. Is what you know purely head knowledge or have you put your thoughts and words into actions? Be known as a doer of My word. Become and stay active as a true Christian and consistently exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. Can others identify you as a Christian by your fruit?
James 1:22 (NIV) “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Kevin Robinson
December 24, 2014 Evidences of My protection and direction have been popping up. Right alongside the bad things happening, there are My good things. You have a choice to make. You can get involved and think about all the bad things or you can think about and focus on all the marvelous things which are happening. Your enemy Satan is always looking for anything bad, wrong or even evil he can get you to focus on. The Holy Spirit is urging you to think on all the good. Beloved, chose to follow Him.
Philippians 4:8 (NASB) “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Bev Robinson
December 18, 2014 Unexpected blessings are ahead if you keep your cool. There are those who will try to rattle you. They don’t know that what they’re saying is shaking you, but nevertheless words will come that strike at your core values. This is why you need to keep your cool. Don’t listen to the words or innuendos. Your enemy Satan is trying to cause you to stumble, keeping you from your blessings. Forgive ahead of time that which is coming. You can do this and it will save you heartache.
Psalm 18:30-31 (AMP) “As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him. For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the Rock save our God,” Bev Robinson
December 17, 2014 Lovingkindness works wonders. The kindness of God leads to repentance. Lovingkindness also works when there are offenses or other hurts in relationships. Lovingkindness is the highest expression of love found in the Old Testament. It is a steadfast love that is loyal almost to a fault. Sending Jesus to the cross was God’s lovingkindness to mankind. This kind of love is generous, loyal, tolerant and patient. If someone has offended you or sinned against you, first forgive them. Then show God’s lovingkindness, making His power available through you. A miracle of love should result, as did your repentance and salvation.
Romans 2:4 (NASB) “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Psalm 94:18 (AMP) “When I said, My foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up.” Ras Robinson
December 16, 2014 Sitting in heavenly places is your destiny. The earth is not your home. You are a person chosen to be one who sits with Me on the throne someday. You are a marked person with a very, very bright future. You would be wise to seek the Lord day and night as a drowning man would gasp for air. In doing so, you will discover the very personal path God has for the rest of your life. He will reveal it step by step as you draw closer to Him.
Psalm 16:11 (AMP) “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Ras Robinson
December 10, 2014 You sensed a wall between you and those important to you. As far as you know, disunity has not entered into your prized relationships. But, it was as if a burglar has secretly crept into a tightly crafted unity of spirit and taken it away. The devil had his day and momentarily stole the unity. He sought to intimidate you. But God gave instant wisdom for the situation. You chose to back off and fight another day, armed with peace and love while praying earnestly, humbly and with gentleness. You get the prize!
Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT) “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Ras Robinson
December 1, 2014 Fullness in Christ is your goal whether at home, church, job or ministry. With this goal and purpose, you will be counted on to bring unity of the faith. Early on, you can study what each of the five-fold gifts are and how you can find expression in one or more of the five. The Lord says, “This is a time of enlistment for you to begin your transformation and to equip others in this work of service. You will build up the body of Christ until a unity of faith is achieved within your circle.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NASB) “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Ras Robinson