My Sanity Returned To Me

True acknowledgment and surrender to God comes with many benefits.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” -Psalm 103:2-5

I can’t help but read this verse and think of King Nebuchadnezzar; I’m also reminded of myself.

Very shortly after I came to know Jesus, a cloud, so to speak lifted. It was as if I had been let out of a gloomy prison cell and could suddenly see the sun again! I didn’t realize until that day that the dark prison cell I had been living in was of my own making. I had built a dungeon and imprisoned myself without even realizing it. I was also so used to the darkness that the dimness of my confinement felt normal. It wasn’t until I met Jesus that I walked out into the light and really basked in the warmth of a bright sunny day. It feels good to be in the sunshine and everything looks so much clearer!

I remember sitting in the kitchen one day when the full weight of realization finally dawned- it was my sin that was making me feel bad! I had never thought of that before. I was just hanging out, living my life, doing whatever it is I wanted to do. I was sinning all the time and I thought it was all normal. I wasn’t doing anything my friends weren’t doing. I was just being a normal 20 year old. I was in charge of my life and God was someone I believed in but never gave a thought about. It never occurred to me that some of the things I was doing might displease Him. What God might think of my life never even crossed my mind.

It might sound strange but it wasn’t the usual “bad stuff” that finally opened my eyes to needing Jesus. I was doing astrology in a big way and I was confronted with the fact that God hated it. Now most people reading this probably think, “What’s the big deal? Really, you think reading your horoscope is a sin?” But I was told it was, and looked it up in the bible, and yeah, it was. It was a sin that God really detests.

“You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you. Behold, they have become like stubble, fire burns them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame…” -Isaiah 47:13

So I had all kinds of sin going on in my life (astrology being the least of it). I didn’t think I needed God and I lived how I wanted. Most of the world is living to one degree or another just like that, but what we don’t understand is that sin is the cause of many of our problems.

 

Just pop a pill or call a psychologist.

Living a life outside of God takes it’s toll. Did you knowing that sinning can make you really depressed? That it can even make you sick? We weren’t created to sin or live independently of God. Think, for example, of the person who commits adultery, who walks around in guilt and is afraid of being found out. Even if they are never caught they will suffer inside for it. A cardinal truth of the Word of God is that sin produces death- all the time and without exception. We may not see people falling to the floor and being carried away but in one way or another we pay the price when we sin.

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. -James 1:15

So I was only in my early 20’s but years of sin had taken it’s toll on me. I didn’t know that a lot of the way I felt from day to day was because of sin that had been piling up like garbage. Instead of taking the garbage out I’d go to the doctor who would give me Xanax because I was anxious. I also went to a counselor to get help because I felt like crap! I was only 20 but I had physical, mental and emotional effects from all this. Nobody ever thought to tell me that maybe one of the causes of me feeling bad was because of my sin.

Nobody wants to talk about this; nobody wants to say that maybe the reason you feel awful is that you’re living a life contrary to God. You’re doctor’s not going to tell you that maybe you’re conflicted because of sin and it’s making you ill. You’re psychologist is probably not going to tell you that maybe you need to stop sinning or that you need Jesus. As far as the world’s concerned it’s got to be something else; it can’t be a spiritual problem; it can’t be a sin problem; it can’t be that you’re disconnected to God. To the world the solution to emotional problems and physical illness is often “anything but God”. Some people would rather you be on meds or in counseling your entire life rather then repent of your sins or turn to Jesus.

The bible clearly tells us that not every mental illness or physical disease or sickness is caused by some personal sin, but in many cases sin actually is one of the causes.

“Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” -John 15:4

The world is in denial about sin and it’s effects on us because we have rejected God and his truths.

 

Feeling like I’m going crazy here!

In the Book of Daniel there’s a very good story of what can happen when we live a life outside of God. King Nebuchadnezzar is at the top of his game. He’s got a massive kingdom, his home is a palace, and He’s contented and prosperous. He’s got the life everyone wants and he knows it. From his palace he looks out over his kingdom and is feeling really proud of himself.

“As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.'” -Daniel 4:30

His total disconnect from the living God was apparent and God wanted Him to understand a few things.

“While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ “Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.” -Daniel 4:31-33

So Nebuchadnezzar goes from being King to living worse than a homeless person- he’s out alone “eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.”

That’s not cool! We’re looking at total crazy insanity here, but at the end of his ordeal Nebuchadnezzar was no longer the strutting peacock he had once been- Nebuchadnezzar no longer saw himself as god-like but came to acknowledge God himself.

“But at the end of those days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me. Then I praised the Most High and honored and glorified Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.” -Daniel 4:34

 

My sanity returned to me

All sin, not just Nebuchadnezzar’s sin to one degree or another affects our sanity. Sin produces death and affects our well being. Acknowledging God and returning to Him can profoundly heal us.

Read Deuteronomy 28:15-68 for a vivid description on the downward spiral of a life that is disconnected and disobedient to God. Then consider again the benefits of a life connected and pleasing to Him.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” -Psalm 103:2-5