Friday, October 28, 2016

The Monster Predicament


We’re now coming upon the Halloween season, with all of its ghosts, goblins and monsters. Monsters… Hmm…

Anyone out there feel like an out of control monster? Or, are you trying to be your own mad scientist, carefully constructing your “perfect” body, your “perfect” life, your “perfect” heart’s desire? Recognize yourself here? I know I do. Disorders and addictions can often thrive on the hope of the “perfect” result, which promises to fill and satisfy the void in our lives. It’s that certain something that’s “missing.” It leaves us chasing after more. And the more we chase, the more we seem to get the unwanted monster. So, in your life, what monster are you creating?

In the famous story, “Frankenstein,” a scientist thought he created eternal life, a result which could never again be threatened by death or loss. And so, the monster was formed. However, this educated “expert,” while convinced he knew exactly what he was doing, still could not control the result of the formed monster. Check out Mary Shelley’s work, watch the film adaptations; you’ll see how the results were disastrous.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Proverbs 14:12

And so it is with our addictions, disordered eating issues, self-injury and image obsessions. You and I can start out with one reason and soon see the monster take on a destructive life of its own. You and I can convince ourselves that we will just do something “only once” or “just once more.” We’re just going to participate in a certain behavior until we get this “perfect” result. Then, we’ll be happy. Then, we’ll stop. That’s certainly what I’ve said concerning my eating disorders years ago. But I lost track of my “creation.” Before I knew it, just like Mary Shelley’s tale, I created my monster.

Is it hopeless then? After all, we are creative beings, in the Image of God. So, of course, we’re going to create something. But what is our creation? Is it a disorder? Is it an obsession? When creating or desiring anything for our lives, we need to respect the power of our creativity and of our longings. They can be healing or they can be harmful.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Proverbs 18:21

Like Proverbs 18:21, our thoughts are tremendously powerful. A thought can heal or harm. A thought can create. So, it’s a caution to our choice of focus. Things seem pretty bleak with us, left to ourselves.

But there is still hope: God. He purposed each one of us.

“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43:7

And God, the Creator, has the final say. There is hope for our monsters, after all.
In spite of our situations, mistakes or wrong choices, God still sees our value; His love for us motivated Him to create us and have a relationship with us. Add to that wonderful news, He’s also never intimidated by any life condition we find ourselves in.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

Jeremiah 32:27

Yes, it comes back to God, even with our monsters. Regardless of our sins, mistakes and harmful choices, we can stop and ask for help. We can stop and ask GOD for help. God already IS our help!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

The challenge for each of us is to check our monsters and present them, honestly, to God. What are they? Where are they? Go to God with them, even when it seems they are overtaking you. You are not Frankenstein; you are not a monster. You are not your own creation either. You belong to God. You are His Child, spectacular and wonderful!

“…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
Psalm 139:14

So, Ta-Dah? Finished? Nothing more to be done? I’m perfect? Nope. Not quite. For God has wonderfully made us; that’s true. And, He’s called us “precious” (Isaiah 43:4), “beloved” (Ephesians 1:6; Deuteronomy 33:12; Song of Solomon 6:1) and beautiful (Song of Solomon 6:4; Song of Solomon 2:14), just to name a few adjectives. That, however, doesn’t mean we’re perfect. And we want to be perfect, don’t we? How many of us out there strive to create it?

Remember Frankenstein’s monster? Its creator, the “expert,” was thoroughly convinced he discovered the perfect answer to eternal life. And we know how well that turned out. Again, it’s a cautionary tale. How many of us focus so much on our own obsessions, addictions or “answers,” that we forget about doing the work of the process, including health and recovery, called life? And, on top of that, how many of us choose to ignore or reject another vital element to both recovery and life: grace?

God has told us He will perfect the things concerning us (Psalm 138:8). We, therefore, don’t need to have every issue, every second, every single thing of our lives figured out. He takes even our mistakes and works incredible things from them. God works with everything! Check out Romans 8:28:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Right now, what are you obsessing about? There is more to the story. You and I are in process. And so, in that process, God’s Grace is needed because we will blow it, sometimes big time. But again, it’s not hopeless. Nothing, in fact, overwhelms God. Again, remember Jeremiah

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

While you’re in your process, remember God. His will not to leave you as a broken monster; you are created to be His incredible victorious child of purpose.

And so, the process continues. Yes, there may be some monsters along the way. But don’t lose hope. You’re not beyond God’s Grace; you haven’t gone “too far” to be redeemed and restored. Leave the monsters to Halloween; don’t allow them to have the final say. You’re worth God’s process in you; you’re valuable and incredible!

Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse


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