Pentecostal Power

Heh. The title alone has probably run some people off. That’s fine. Don’t blame me. Blame Charles H. Gabriel, who wrote this classic in 1912. The original is great, but don’t take my word for it. It’s available for your perusal here.

Meanwhile, it has been something like six weeks since I’ve posted here. No one has sent me any emails asking where I’ve been, so maybe you haven’t noticed, but I certainly have. And I’ve missed this little outlet of mine. I do hope you’re asking where I’ve been, because I’ve got a really good excuse.

Okay, not really. The truth is that I started this blog with the intention of being honest, even transparent with what I’m feeling and where I’m at. Lately, this has been a scary place, and I really didn’t want anyone else to know how dark it gets inside of me. But you probably already know. If there is any question, I think you can look into your own heart on your worst day. It’s there we may find our best communion.

Dad has been gone for six months now. Almost seven, I guess. It’s gotten both harder and easier as the time has passed. Lately, I’ve only been able to see the harder side of things. I’m still struggling, sometimes daily, with depression. Some days I can barely get out of bed. Last week, in a 24-hour period, I was in bed for twenty hours. That was a bad day. Probably one of my worst. Sometimes I don’t eat, but usually I eat too much. I’m verbally committed to losing some of this weight, but that’s only a verbal commitment. Despite my protests, Twinkies are still 270 calories, and eating five of them is a bad idea.

Anger has also been an easy place for me to run. I hate saying so, but when I consider my anger and bitterness, I remind myself of someone I used to know: myself. Unfortunately, this isn’t the me I want to be. Instead, I’m seeing myself at age sixteen when, after a diagnosis of cancer, I got angry with God. I waved my middle finger in His face, denied His existence, and ended up using far too many drugs than I’d like to remember, but just can’t seem to forget. (That’s probably a future blog series within itself…)

Some of my favorite people in the world tell me I’m being too hard on myself. Maybe I am, but when it gets really dark in here, how much grace do I give myself? When the thoughts of suicide creep up like a putrid mess, giving myself grace seems like a far cry from reality. Don’t let the big “S” word throw you too far. I’m not seriously considering it. It’s not going to happen, but I’d be lying if there weren’t fleeting (and some not so fleeting) thoughts. It’s getting better. I’m getting better.

The fact is that I’ve got nothing within myself that can fix me. I’m broken, and in a bad way. Sure, I’ve got a lot going for me, but really, when you get right down to it, the bad outweighs the good every time. If I’m contributing from my reserves, you can count on one thing: it’s crap. And this isn’t just the hateful ramblings of a bitter, grief-stricken, wild man. No, even the Bible has my back. Isaiah 64:6 says that my righteousness is as filthy rags. The best I can offer is garbage.

However, the King of Kings has offered me fellowship, even partnership with Him. The blood of Jesus washed away my filth and as long as I am in Christ, I am covered. I get credit for the perfection of Christ, as long as I do His works. When I go rogue and do my own thing, I’m just throwing around filthy rags, demanding that God accept them as a great reward.

My hope is in Christ. My peace is in Christ. My life is in Christ. Maybe I should get more into Christ.

This is what I’m hungry for right now. I know that despite everything else, my God is constant. He is steady. He is right, pure, and true. I need that, more than food, water, and air. If I don’t have the Holy Spirit living and working in and through me, I should just as well be dead. I’ve tasted life in Christ, and it’s the only thing worth having. If I can get out of myself long enough to have an honest look, I know that God is moving on my behalf. Things are going to happen. God is going to be glorified. I’ve just got to stay out of the way.

Okay, now that all of my emotions are dripping on the table, let’s get into the poetic interpretation of the hymn I’ve chosen. Like I said, the original is a dandy. I hope mine does something for you, too.

What has been done
Will be done again.
Do the same thing a new way, or
Do a new thing the same way.
Just come, Holy Spirit.

It’s more than tongues,
More than tingles,
More than testimony:
It is an active, living presence.
It is the life of God dwelling in men.

Set us free from our bondage.
Break the last chain of sin.
Destroy the last vestige of flesh.
We were created to be spiritual beings.
By your grace, we can prove it.

The time has come to drop the games.
It’s time to get real, and lay it all down.
God, I’m grabbing ahold of you, and
I’m not letting go until you bless me.
Fill me with your life Lord, or I perish.

But yeah, the original is good. Check it out here.

6 Comments

  1. Gala Bowser

    Ryan, I understand depression. I suffer from this horrible disease too. It feels like the world is against us. I get mad at everything & everyone then I sit down & cry my eyes out for doing it. I go on eating binges and just want to sleep forever. People that don’t have it Do Not Understand. Anyways I love reading these blogs. Keep up the good work. Hang in there.

    Reply
  2. Jinny

    Ryan, My heart goes out to you and for you. I totally understand and life is just not very fair to any of us. Do not let your depression get the best of you, to where you lose everything that means anything to you. We tend to push the ones we love the most away, when we are feeling our worst. Your family and friends love you very much and would do anything for you, if only you would ask. I love your blogs and wait impatiently for your next . I love you. I am so proud of the man that you have become. Waiting to hear more. 🙂

    Reply
  3. COOK

    I remember those dark times, and partaking right along side you. We did to many things in those dark times that really didn’t help. We both tried to destroy the pain, but really only where self destructing. and in reality those “fun” times, where only painful memories.

    Whether or not any of “us” see our time as being destructive, I still witness the destruction. I know your loss is unimaginable considering the circumstances and really my lack of having lost someone so dear. Yet know that you and I have ridden to hell on the backs of Pipes and Bottles and where carried on the back of Jesus out of that place.

    Peace be with you brother.

    Reply
  4. Mitch Gerig

    “My hope is in Christ. My peace is in Christ. My life is in Christ. Maybe I should get more into Christ.” Good reminder.

    Reply
  5. CKM

    Forgive me for not bringing forth words of my own, but one of the most meaningful songs for me right now says it all – just pieces I cut & pasted, and not even in the order they come in the song but the words speak to me and I pray they will speak to you. “Your Grace Finds Me”

    It’s there on a wedding day
    There in the weeping by the graveside
    There in the very breath we breathe
    Your great grace

    The same for the rich and poor
    The same for the saint and for the sinner
    Enough for this whole wide world

    From the creation to the cross
    There from the cross into eternity
    Your grace finds me, yes your grace finds me
    Your great grace
    Oh such grace

    There in the darkest night of the soul
    There in the sweetest songs of victory
    Your grace finds me
    Yes your grace finds me

    Reply
  6. Gini

    Ryan,
    You are a dear friend to me. You are a wonderful young man, who I think the world of! I remember when you and Raul were younger and “hung out” together. I look at the men, the Dads, the husbands, that you have both grown into, and I burst with pride! I am always here for you. Never let the thought of suicide take over, take it from someone who lives with the loss of someone dear to me, each and every day! Hugs to you and your family, my friend!!!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *