RSS Feed

Tag Archives: distress

Traumatized

 

One of the medical websites I researched lists 5 specific categories of trauma.  Complex, Early Childhood, Medical, Refugee and Traumatic Grief.  The actual definition of this term refers to any experience that inflicts deep distress or is emotionally disturbing.  This state is often induced by accidents, injuries or witnessing someone die.  Anyone who endures such an event can be traumatized for hours, days, weeks or months.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you, 1 Peter 5:7.

Anyone alive during the life of Christ may have seen one of the most brutal ways to die.  After receiving up to 39 lashing in the public square, Jesus carried a cross until Simeon took over and then was crucified.  Even those who despised Jesus’ message, must have felt pity or remorse at some point.  Despite his innocence, Herod followed Jewish tradition, setting the criminal Barabbas free as a mob demanded Jesus to die in his place.  If those who have seen this gore in the Passion of the Christ struggle to watch, image the trauma exhibited by those who were disciples and followers of God’s son.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron, Psalm 107:13-16.

One of the difficult signs of trauma is that its often invisible.  Sure, body language, facial expressions and posture reveal someone who is mourning.  Yet, wounds to the soul go unnoticed, lingering for months, years or in worse case scenarios, a lifetime.  In certain cases, guilt causes some to remain traumatized until they forgive themselves.  This situation is played out in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams playing a psychologists tells Matt Damon, an orphan its not your fault.  If you find yourself trying to recover from a traumatic events, may the prayer of the Psalmist above provide the words to receive the healing that you seek and strive to achieve.

by Jay Mankus

 

I Don’t Care How Long It Takes

In life, there are some battles worth fighting for and others you simply have to let go to walk away.  People will experience periods when you think, “what did I do to deserve us?”  Followed by moments that leave individuals pondering, “I can’t believe I got out of that unscathed.”  How you respond to these ordeals often shapes your character.  In the case of a king, punished by God for taking a census, David didn’t care what it took as long as God had mercy on the nation of Israel.

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands,” 2 Samuel 24:14.

To survive for the long haul, you must develop a specific mindset.  If you celebrate victories only to wilt under defeat, you’ll never get very far in this life.  Thus, its essential to look at the big picture, set goals accordingly and persevere until you reach your desired destination.  As for the apostle Paul, he began to adopt a motto for his earthly ministry.  I don’t care how long it takes as long as you enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ before I die.

Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains,” Acts 26:29.

After reading this portion of the Bible, I came to an obvious conclusion, why don’t I apply this mentality to my own life.  Whether its clinging to a desired outcome, seeing a dream fulfilled or wrestling with God in prayer, it doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as you taste success at some point.  Therefore, don’t let one, two or several setbacks cause you to give up hope.  Rather, arm yourself with a warrior’s mindset, resolving to maintain steadfast in battle until the Lord allows you to experience the fruits of your labor.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Prayer for the Verbally Assaulted

Canadian born Rock Star Bryan Adams was right when he sang “love cuts like a knife.”  Lesser known contemporary singer Wes King added to this concept, focusing on Sticks and Stones which wound human souls.  Whether you hear it through the grapevine, feel it through dirty looks or experience harsh words first hand, no one likes to be verbally assaulted.

Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues, Psalm 120:2.

When gossip spreads, innuendos fly and rumors begin to sway people against you, helplessness can consume your heart.  Thus, if no one has your back to set the record straight, a supernaturally intervention is often necessary.  Although the context may be different, desperate individuals cry out to the heavens asking for a shell of protection against the flaming arrows of evil spewed from the mouths of bitter people.

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. – Psalm 120:6-7

Although verbal attacks will continue throughout your lifetime, make sure you don’t lower yourself to others’ standards or begin to stoop to a level of pettiness.  Rather, as the curses come forth, place your trust in God above, leaning on the Lord in times of distress, Psalm 120:1.  The moment you sense an urge to retaliate, make sure you choose your words wisely.  As difficult as it may be, follow the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you want others to do unto you.  If successful, your act of kindness will fulfill the words of Proverbs 25:22, heaping coals on the heads of those you verbally assault you.

by Jay Mankus

Learning to Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down

Death, financial worries and illness are the 3 most common trials that trigger depression.  If any of these obstacles linger or are replaced by another debilitating force, its hard to remain optimistic.  Thus, learning to get back up when life knocks you down begins with words of encouragement.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:9-10

In the moment of his greatest distress, David sought refuge in a cave within Adullam.  When his friends heard of his despair, they joined him to uplift David’s spirits.  Unable to stand on his own, David was able to get back up, inspired by their camaraderie.  Subsequently, a rejuvenated soul compelled David to become their leader.

All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him. – 1 Samuel 22:2

After I lost my job on New Year’s Day 2012, I was crushed.  I felt like I had just been punched in the gut, without any warning.  However, 2 close friends stood by me in these days of darkness.  One brought my family a meal that night and another scheduled a time to meet weekly.  Through the good and bad, the friends God provides in times of need have helped me get back up when life has knocked me down.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

\

Overcoming the Doubts of Yesteryears

In my own life, hope and confidence tend to go hand in hand.  When things are going well, I trust God will provide and in most cases the Lord does.  However, as soon as my confidence is shaken, I experience arid periods, where doubts of yesteryears creep into my mind causing me to wonder, “will anything good ever happen to me again?”

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

At the beginning of 2014, my wife and I endured similar struggles, hoping to find a good paying full time job, yet feeling abandoned by God for half of last year.  In the darkest of debt and despair, the Lord heard our cries, offering positions for Leanne in May and me in June.  Although every month has its ups and down, these two blessings from above, James 1:18, has strengthen our faith and is slowly erasing doubts planted by the Devil.

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1

As time flies by, I have come to believe that each person created by God has a lottery ticket deep inside their heart, soul and mind.  For some, a gift leads individuals to a career, doing what they were born to do, one day leading to financial wealth.  Others may have hidden talents uncovered, resulting in an amazing personality, cherished friendships and life long memories with those whom they love.  Meanwhile, most people allow circumstances, past failures and unforeseen events to interfere with success as the doubts of yesteryears block lifelong dreams from coming true.

 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; James 1:6-7.

Looking ahead in 2015, I believe writing is my lottery ticket.  Starting this venture 3 years ago, my passion has spawned 1 complete movie script and another nearing completion.  Although initial rejections of the film Express Yourself has left scars on my soul, only 38 pages separate me from cashing in my next lottery ticket, Behind the Devil’s Door.  While only God knows the ultimate outcome, I press on the take hold of that which Christ Jesus has called me to do, Philippians 3:12-14.  May faith in Jesus elevate you to leave the doubts of yesteryears for the promises of Ephesians 2:10.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

by Jay Mankus

 

Turning Distress into Rest

If you’ve ever had one of those days; then you know how I felt last night when I came home.  Restless, my frustrations began to boil over, spewing out venom fueled by annoyance and irritation.  Replaying this in my mind, over and over again, I allowed distress to interrupt my ability to sleep.

Like a scene from a horror movie, I sensed the clutches of demons taking over my mind, inspired by hatred and revenge.  Before I let my thoughts get out of control, I cried out to the Lord, rebuking the images racing through my head, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  This tug of war went on for nearly 15 minutes, drifting back and forth, with huge momentum swings.  Finally, as the noises around me started to dissipate, God turned my distress into rest.

When I awoke the next day, I stumbled across Psalm 107:6.   “Then, they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he (God) delivered them from their distress.”  Perhaps, a coincidence?  I don’t think so!  Rather, I believe the Lord let this night of turmoil occur so that I could remind the world that God can turn distress into rest, a deep peaceful sleep.

by Jay Mankus

Cry After Cry…God Comes to the Rescue

When people cry, there could be several reasons.  Cries of joy, tears of pain, touched by words, moved by a kind act or mourning after someone dies.  In the famous Aesop fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, this story refers to individuals who try to gain attention with impure motives.  As for this person, God will not come to their aid immediately, Isaiah 1:15.

However, Psalm 106:44 suggests that a heart felt cry is heard by the Lord.  Although you may not receive a reply right away, God’s timing is perfect, Ecclesiastes 3:10-11.  Cry after cry is duly noted by God, observing the distress that you and I go through over the course of a week, month or year.  Subsequently, each earnest plea is rewarded with a sign, word of encouragement or by a person sent to ease your pain.

According to the Bible, there will be no tears in heaven, Revelation 7:17.  Yet, until then, disappointment is a daily reality while calling earth home.  In your struggle to stay positive, Ephesians 6:12, don’t try to do this all on your own.  Rather, cry out to the Lord, following in the footsteps of David, Psalm 4:1, so that God will come to the rescue.

by Jay Mankus

 

%d bloggers like this: