My soon-to-release novel Fallen illustrates the fall of humankind. Sin, sickness, and death came into the world, affecting one and all. My life demonstrates the effect of sin in the world, and so does yours. In sharing this encore post from December 5, 2014, I examine the glorious truth that Jesus is with us in the blackest times. Even these things – these results of the fall, he orchestrates for our good. 

Introducing Melinda: Part 10

When I started screaming I woke myself. These dreams are becoming too commonplace.

Chaos everywhere. No order. I tear around trying to organize and get the stuff out the door. Perhaps I need to get away from impending danger. Sometimes there’s looming physical harm. Other times it’s only a missed departure. But someone keeps scattering the order. Then I have to start all over again. I can’t complete the simple task of getting out the door. No one notices my frustration. No one offers to help. My pleas go unanswered. We don’t get out. The bus drives away. The bad guy gets us. Or the plane takes off.

My autoimmune disorder has crept into my subconscious. I am powerless, unable to get any answers. Medical professionals wring their hands. No one heeds my pleas for help. I can no longer do what was once my norm. I am sidelined. I no longer feel valuable or like a contributing member of the team.

The frustration of having an autoimmune disorder that is barely understood because it isn’t a high priority illness for research dollars fills me with a sense of injustice. The National Institutes of Health just declared this a major women’s issue, so maybe help is on the way.

Reading theories of causes and possible treatments is like discovering a Sci-Fi world I never knew existed, a scenario where our government weaponizes XMRV, a human gammaretrovirus. In the 1970s we’re all exposed, and autoimmune disorders, allergies, and odd new illnesses arise.

Can this stuff be believed?

Lord, have mercy!

Nightmare Michał Koralewski via Compfight

After screaming myself awake yet again, I realized I must seek even more deeply to find my identity in Christ. He knows intimately the details of entrusting himself into the Father’s hands, releasing all control of an unfair and unjust experience.

He was often misunderstood and alone, abandoned by the religious authority structure that should have embraced him, treated unjustly, declared a criminal while innocent, publicly shamed. And he chose to let it happen, indeed to orchestrate it, so he could die to redeem us.

The incarnation, God with us, is all about his identification with us. We possess flesh and blood and all the discomforts, fears, and troubles that go with being human.

So he put on flesh to join us. He walked the path of suffering. He can sympathize with brokenness. He is consumed with love and compassion for us.

Today for the first time, when I awakened and rehashed the details of this particular dream, I poured out my frustrations to Jesus and leaned on his sympathy. 

He cares. He knows.

That is progress. Not in finding help or treatment that works, but in learning to rely on the Lord in it.

The Holy Spirit is the one who sanctifies. He’s using even this for good in me. This is what he does with everything the Lord allows me to experience.

Thank you, Lord, for who you are and what you did. No matter what we go through you can relate, sympathize, and comfort.

You’re with me in this blackness.