Discovering that it is possible to become Christ’s presence on earth was an epiphany for my husband and me about 30 years ago. We suddenly understood that resurrected life was not just for a few saints. Every normal Christian can come to the point where they shout with St. Paul,
“No longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me.”
What an awesome thought, mind-boggling, actually. We should be begging Christ to complete His work in us.
So, If this journey is so exciting, why do many of us experience periods of depression and anxiety?
Well, there is the fact that we most often turn to God to radically heal our lives when we are desperate to change. Usually. we have exhausted all other avenues because, let’s face it, who wants to die to our false little selves that we have taken so long to build?
, the process of transformation is unsettling. God must shake us out of our old habits, melt rigid mindsets and shine light into our inner, secret, dark closets.
Dying to our old selves is hard on our entire system including emotions, bodies, mind and spirit. No wonder the spiritual journey is often called the Dark Night of the Soul and the Dark Night of the Spirit. ( St. John of the Cross).
Humour, the ability to laugh puts the whole process of inner transformation into perspective. If I am self-centered instead of God-centered, everything becomes intense and dramatic. When I take my eyes off myself my faith, my religious practices, my spiritual ‘progress’, and look at my Saviour, everything comes back into the proper perspective.
This inner healing is God’s work. Christ calls all of us to surrender, trust and receive; receive the Light of God, surrender my inner darkness and trust in the power of Christ’s Resurrected Love to redeem me. Period.
While on a journey to visit one of her convents, a donkey threw St. Theresa of Avila into a stream of freezing cold water. Standing in her water-logged, heavy habit, she yelled at God,
“If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!”
Gods literally killed her old self. Not all fun and games.
However, this whole process of inner transformation is His work, not mine. I am simply a child of God, gazing into His face and looking only to Christ to save me.
I wait in joyful expectation and watch His work unfold within me. Oh, yes and laugh at myself.
The inward spiritual journey is intense and often painful but if we keep a sense of humour, don’t take ourselves too seriously and stop meddling in God’s business, the journey becomes much easier.