Easter teaches us that we are not alone.

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar depression I felt alone. My religious faith taught God was always with me. Though I believed that was true in my head, my heart felt abandoned.

The Easter story reminds me that Jesus does understand the depths our soul experiences.

In the Garden of Gethsemane just before Jesus was arrested, the Bible says, “Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.” (Luke 24:44)

In the garden Jesus felt all the despair of ensuing death. Some Bible students teach that he was under such stress his capillaries were bursting making his sweat appear as blood. It gives me pause to wonder how deep was Jesus’ despair.

For me there is meaning in two words:  Jesus understands.

Thank goodness the Easter story does not end there. For on Easter morning Jesus was alive having defeated death and all the things that destroy men’s souls. 

The meaning of His empty grave for me is: Jesus has overcome.

He reminds us that in this world we will have tribulation but that He has overcome the world. 

On those days I am barely able to function, when I my disease tells me the struggle is not worth it, Easter reminds me there is a bigger story. Because of Jesus, life is stronger than death, love is stronger than hate, hope stronger than despair.

Because of Easter here are some promises that give me hope that is beyond myself.

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

I may not feel it. But truth is not understood through what I feel. I am learning not to view life through my feelings but to see life with eyes of faith.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

My disease tells me I have no strength. It tells me no good thing can come from this disease. But faith tells me that God is at work even in my bipolar disease. Somehow, someway, God uses my disease to help others. My pain is not wasted.

Exodus 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

When I am exhausted and no strength is left, I know that God is still working in my situation. The battle is not mine, it is His. There comes a time in despair when I have no energy left. It is then through faith I understand God is working. He is not on my time table, but He loves me enough to be with me but to fight for me.

There are times when my role is to be still. To be still is to be humble enough to acknowledge I am bipolar and that I need help in managing my disease.

Easter gives me a hope bigger than myself.

”In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Romans 8:37-39 (CEV)

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