Back in the 90’s an acquaintance of mine, whom I’ll call Robert, had a mental breakdown. Initially hospitalized, he was later moved to a group home where he spent three years.
Having grown up in a Christian family, Robert was a believer, but during this difficult period he lost his assurance of salvation. Though he still believed in Christ, he could not believe he was forgiven or would go to heaven. His family and friends rallied around, praying for him, quoting scriptures, and trying to convince Robert that, on the basis of his faith, he was saved. All to no avail.
Finally, after three years, a cleaning woman in the group home happened to make a chance comment to Robert. Suddenly the light went on and he regained his assurance of salvation!
Soon after this, Robert returned to normal life—at least, as normal as might be for someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder. To this day Robert continues to be afflicted with periodic depression and mania; nevertheless, he earned a Ph.D. and went on to enjoy a successful professional career. Never again was he hospitalized, and never again has he struggled with a sense of unforgiveness.
I’m not close to Robert, so I’d heard only the rough outline of this story. But I’ve always wondered: What on earth did that cleaning woman say to him that so dramatically changed his life?
This summer I happened to meet Robert’s brother, and I had the chance to ask my burning question. What did that woman say?
What she said was this: No matter what you think, Robert, Jesus will always take care of you.
Simple as that. No pep talk, no healing prayer, not even a scripture verse.
I love this story. I love how this transformative message came out of the blue, through such a humble source, in so surprising a way, showing that it was no mere human but God Himself speaking, touching and healing Robert.
And I love that this is a message for all of us: No matter what we may think, God is always bigger than our thoughts, including our doubts. Whatever we’re struggling with, Jesus is always taking care of us.
In medieval times, Christ was often portrayed holding in one hand a globe of the earth, surmounted by a cross, with His other hand raised in blessing.
No matter what you may think, world, Jesus is looking after you.
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Even if our own hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts. ~1 John 3:20
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