003: SEEING OURSELVES, OTHERS AND LIFE THROUGH FAITH
By Kurt J. Kolka
In my past couple of columns, I've been speaking about my struggles with depression which went on for decades. My lack of understanding of that disorder kept it in control of how I thought about myself, others and life in general. Depression warps your view of everything.
I slowly came to understand the healing process for this required a deeper faith in Jesus Christ. If you look at the accounts given in the Bible, those who place their faith in God change over time. While God accepts people as they are, He does not allow to stay there.
We know Moses was a murderer hiding out in another country when God called him. This shepherd, who felt so unworthy to help God, was transformed as his relationship with God developed over the years and they grew closer.
One of the verses which came to transform me during my healing period from depression was Jeremiah 1:4. “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.'”
This combined with other verses, like Psalm 139:13-16, teaches we are no mistake in God's eyes.
However, I also learned this about God in Exodus. “The Lord said to [Moses], 'Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'”
God created us exactly as He wanted each of us to be. Even those aspects we may dislike – what we call our “flaws.” They aren't flaws at all, but part of His plan.
When I was a child, bullies picked on me often. They teased me about many things, including my physical appearance. One thing they pointed out were my freckles. They equated those with being a sissy. Unfortunately, I believed them. Their thinking became my way of thinking about myself. I didn't understand how God saw me. My understanding of God wasn't deep enough.
As humans, we can spend our time being bitter about our perceived “flaws,” or we can take God at His Word. It is at that point of faith, of trusting Him, He uses those “flaws” for His purpose.
We all have our “flaws.” Yet, we also have a choice to be bitter and become depressed, or go to God and allow Him to to give us a new way of seeing ourselves, others and life.