Love makes use of logic and science.

by Craig on January 10, 2012

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I think back to Psychological Statistics 101. You design a study to eliminate variables that might have caused a change in a test subject. If you statistically eliminate all but one, then that one caused the change. You find the baby duck among the little yellow chicks.

This is the second half to this.
The first half is on Deep into Scripture.
Reading that first part will make this better…

but you don’t have to. This’ll stand well on its own.
Still, if I had my way you’d click over to the first half now.

For days I was inexplicably depressed.
Now I’m suddenly not.
So what caused the change?

Did my insomnia improve?
Sustained sleep deprivation causes depression.
Sleep hasn’t improved…
so it wasn’t that.

Circumstances?
Is there some happy news…
some break received…
some new opportunity?
No. In fact, circumstances have gotten worse.

Weather?
Actually, the other day when things were darkest…

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…it was 60° and sunny – in the middle of winter.

But winter has since returned…

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…and with it clouds, and cold, and bluster. I heart 60° and sunny. So no, it’s not the weather.

A diversion?
Something really entertaining and happy to divert my thoughts…
But no…there were none.
So that variable is eliminated.

Medication?
Nope. I have medication that helps me achieve some sort of sleep – but nothing there has changed.

Counseling and advice?
During this dark time I isolated myself from family and friends. (I know) And you guys were supportive, but nobody left me an earth shaking, magical comment to change my thinking. So this variable is eliminated.

Diet?
No. The breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack menus were almost exactly the same. Heavy doses of chocolate maybe? There was no chocolate. It wasn’t a diet change.

Exercise?
Well, there hasn’t been enough of that, and exercise can change the mood – but there’s been no change there either. That variable is checked off.

Positive thinking?
To choose to see the bad circumstances, and view them from a positive point of view, that can help.

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But I made no efforts to do that, none at all. As I wrote yesterday, things were dark, and I gave into it. I engaged in zero positive thinking. So that’s not it.

It was completely dark…
and now there’s light…
and not an unnaturally bright amount of light…
so we can eliminate…
for now at least…
bipolar disorder.

See, my sense of humor has returned. ツ

The only variable that changed…
was my prayer…
and your prayers for me.

After that my boat reached an even keel.
It’s still there today…
and last night was a horribly sleepless one…
I physically feel all blargh and meh.
But my emotions don’t feel all blargh and meh.

The waters are still choppy.
Honestly it’s pretty stormy right now.

My boat isn’t suddenly flying as if totally unaffected by the waves. It hasn’t been that kind of miracle (or that kind of insanity). It’s just an even keel as opposed to taking on water from the stormy seas.

If no other variables changed…

but just this one variable…

just prayer…

then just this one variable…

just prayer…

prayer. caused. the change.

any thoughts?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn January 10, 2012 at 9:29 am

Craig,

I’m so glad you posted this because I just had one of the most difficult weeks of my life. I was framed and fired from my work, and although I’ve felt like I’ve had the flu for the past week and sleep is interrupted by feelings of panic alternating with the hot flashes and brief periods of freezing cold following, I feel no darkness. Why? because God’s people are upholding me in prayer. I can feel their very breath giving me a continual flow of oxygen that keeps me from suffocating from the toxic gases of the enemy.

I am sorry that you had to be in the darkness. If darkness had been added to my other experiences, I may not have fared as well as you–meaning I might not have been able to stay sane. He knows us and what we can bear. Anyway, I have been released from my situation. I have spent a year in search and explore mode already so I am quite aware of what’s out there. I just need to do some serious fishing.

Yes, prayer changes everything,
Dawn

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

Oh, Dawn. I’m sorry. * prayers will continue now – just in a totally different way. I’ve already prayed. New situation now – new prayer. A fishing prayer – but more, strengtth, courage, motivation, and for more people to pray – and more. . God bless you my friend!

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Sylvia January 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

Well…
I was praying for you.

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

Yes. I know. Thank you Sylvia. this naming of the year thing is perilous. And now you know I thought hard about this – and I don’t see anything else that could have turned the tide. Just prayer. Thank you. God bless you. And I’ll need to be courageous – because between you and me – circumstances aren’t getting any brighter ツ so my vision will have to get better.

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Victoria January 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

Craig,
Remember, was it last month, the month before? when you were unnecessarily attacked by…well you know…and you asked for prayer. I added your name to my prayer list and I’m pretty (dang! I’m having a hard time finding my words today! Maybe because my dog decided it was important that I get up an hour early) jealous about my prayer time. I won’t say that I pray everyday because once or twice it’s been after midnight when I realized I hadn’t prayed for the people on my list, but I pretty much don’t miss. Every single person on my list whether I know them or not is important to me. OK…now I’m feeling self-righteous. ugh!! The point is, I for one have been faithfully praying for you for more than a month now and if that helps a little then no one is more blessed than me. No doubt there are others of us who remember you in prayer too. I think if even more of us would pray for you then perhaps things would get brighter still. But I also think this is your year. God bless you.

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

first, “now I’m feeling self-righteous. ugh!!” and made me smile – thank you ツ in Victoria, it’s obvious your prayers are working. God works things out – it just isn’t linear – he has a way. He has the right way – and he answers every prayer. Even when it doesn’t seem like an answer – it’s an answer. The…well you know… that thing…and the way it spread, and the way it has continued to cost me, and some other bad stuff I haven’t blogged about – I think that’s all part of the answer – not the answer I would’ve liked – but the right answer – to the right prayers. And last – I haven’t had a “year” in decades – so I’m with you Victoria – it would be really nice if this was my “year”. Either way, His will not mine – that’s the thing – I need to want His will more than mine. God bless you Victoria, and thank you.

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Cora January 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

I wonder often when that moment was in my life when I really believed that prayer DOES change things! I grew up seeing those plaques all over the place that said, “Prayer changes Things.” Then I heard a pastor say that it isn’t prayer that changes anything, but rather, the God who hears and takes pity on us and changes everything. Any which way, I find it amazing what a little mud in the Hand One called Jesus and a little mustard seed faith in the heart of one in darkness can accomplish when the two meet. It’s also amazing what we “see” in the darkness. We look back and realize that most was distorted, or not even there at all, but only products of our fears, imaginations, lack of faith, or even from those nasty horses of our past. What a wonderful thing it is when we lift our eyes and see that one ray of light and a hand reaching down to lift us out of that pit! I’ve been praying for you, Craig. And I understand the conclusion as I’ve been there — the not knowing how or why, but only “once I was blind, but now I can see.” And just an afterthought —– wasn’t the prodigal son wallowing in the mud when his eyes were opened??? Amazing what a little mud can do!

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

Cora, mud and dirt and God’s touch upon it – that might make an interesting study someday. Offhand, as you said said, there was the mud of the prodigal, and there was this mud of the blind man, and the dirt from which Adam was formed – and the dust we’re supposed to shake off – and not only the mud of the prodigal but the pigs – and the pearls we aren’t supposed to caste before them – I think I sense a post ツ Inspiring sort of ツ but anyway this little darkness – it had nothing – NOTHING to do with circumstances – it did have to do with those voices – they are tools of the Evil One and his minions – believe me, in the darkness I heard every one of those voices. Which reminds me I never have finished up that series – and I need to. Some people have even told me to do an e-book about it. ツ What is clear is that a lot of things COULD have caused the darkness – only one did. And a number COULD have removed it – but only one did did. God bless you Cora. Missed you! e-mail coming today or tomorrow – so many things to do – not enough time.

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Nacole January 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

wow, Cora, you write with such clarity and are able to articulate things that most of us feel but dont know how to say. i always love reading what you have to say, Cora!

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Felecia January 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

As a Prayer Warrior – take that Victoria! My self-righteousness kicks your self-righteousness in the A! :) – when two or more are gathered – prayer works. And I have never believed that two or more can’t “gather” thousands of miles apart. We’re praying for the same thing – the health and welfare of a Brother in Christ. How could God not listen? And Craig … Why shouldn’t you sink to the lowest low in order to reach the highest high and give the glory to God? (Foot tapping) My question from DiS remains. It is all in the change of perspective … and perhaps a wee bit of prayer!
In His Name,
Felecia

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

A fight over who is more self-righteous – how very Christian ツ funny! The spiritual darkness is gone – as Cora said, now to figure out what’s to be learned by it. and I heart praying for each other – it really does make our world smaller – were all so far apart from each other – and prayer makes it all the way. ANd between you and me – just because God brings us to the lowest lows doesn’t mean that there will be a highest high in this life – and I have to be okay with that – his will not mine – HIS will not mine. Now I have to be off to deal with those big oak trees. God bless you Felecia with two e’s ツ

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A. January 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

Craig, I am grateful you have so many prayer friends, and wise ones, too. I realize, as I am in my own deep darkness again-I crawled out of bed to read here and just want to go back there again-days like that, and yes, I read, and I pray, but I realize that I mostly pray for others. I can’t remember when I last prayed for myself. I will do that today-based on your post here. It feels selfish to do that, but I know it isn’t.

I am grateful that you posted all the things you didn’t do or that hadn’t happened, because I need to see that it was just prayer/God. I have conditions in my life that belong on blessings lists. I know I do. Yet, the deep darkness persists. It is part ‘without a vision the people perish’ thing, and part deeply oppressive circumstances and part isolation and part who knows what. I have analyzed it to bits. I learned, at the recent family event, that one of my close relatives-one I knew was a bit goosey, but that was all (I thought) is an actual and horrific pathological liar and this person was setting hordes of foxes’ tails on fire during this event-really stirring all sorts of pots of dissent and trouble-about me and others, even to our faces. Sickening. Anyway, oddly, it was my week alone in the horrid stinky cheap motel during Christmas, before the event, that was the most peaceful, eventually, though the isolation became unpleasant near the end of the time. Yet, there was no one to visit, no one to see within hundreds of miles. I would go there now if I could, but I can’t. I have to face my own demons, my own situation, my own.

I am going to go pray. Not just for myself, but I will add myself to the list this time. I am very, very grateful for your darkness lifted, Craig. And Dawn, prayers are going up for you, too.

I am thinking about something Cora said elsewhere, about remembering what we learned in the light, when we are in the darkness, and I am trying to remember when I last had a glimpse of light…I think even then, it was as you say, Craig, all about really just laying it all at His feet, the darkness, the pain, the utter hopeless feelings, all of it. Even the good things, though they seem worthless when not said with great warmth. Yet will I praise Him. That is all that comes to my mind now. Off to pray. Thank you, Craig.

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

by the way – I think I said that – and neither Cora nor I made it up – remember in the dark what God showed you in the light. And sorry for another short reply – but I’ve been replying to comments for hours today – kinda tired. I read every single word – I get it all – I have prayed for you – and will again – I get it A. God bless! What

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Mari January 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm

A- Just read your comment and please know that I have prayed for you. That you will soon have light and strength in the meantime

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Felecia January 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

A., I know it so hard to fathom light when all around you is dark. I’ve been there. And I know that you know that He can and will lift the darkness. You have asked. We will stand in the gap for you. You are not alone and God is hearing our prayers.
In Christ’s love and mine,
Felecia

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Craig January 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

and thank you Felecia – A is a good one – thank you for standing in the gap ツ

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Craig January 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

that was nice Mari – I heart that!

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Katie January 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Praising God with you and continuing to pray.

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Craig January 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Katie, thank you my friend, as Cora said, now I need to figure out what’s to learn from that dark period – lifted by prayer. That, and deal with all those big Oak trees. God bless you Katie – just finished praying for you again.

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Martha Orlando January 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

As C. S. Lewis once said, “Prayer doesn’t change God; it changes me.”
Prayer is the only change we can truly believe in. I am so glad that in your darkness, the light has shined. It’s not the light of sweet bluebirds and butterflies and warm weather happiness; it is the abiding, piercing the darkness, healing power of JOY. Joy in Him present in you. Seeing you through when you can’t see the forest for the trees (alluding to the oaks). Pressing in on you from every side. Lifting the blinders from your eyes.
Now, you can see, my friend . . .
Blessings and prayers, Craig!

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Craig January 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

you know, Martha, I almost used that when I wrote this – not seeing the forest for the trees – nice to know that we think alike. And Martha – sorry for being late to reply to this comment – so much to do – not enough time – not enough energy – not enough sleep. But I heart you take the time to read and comment – you are a blessing to me. Now to find out what God would have me learn from that darkness. God bless you my friend.

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Nacole January 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm

i have prayed for you today, Craig, and i believe that God knows and hears our prayers before we pray them, so He must have applied them to you already. 😉

prayer…yes, prayer, such an important part of our Christian walk that i too often neglect…if you knew that you could communicate with God of all creation Himself, why wouldnt you do do it? anytime i have prayed…an unselfish prayer, and even sometimes one for myself, it is amazing what God has done.

prayer does change things…our heart, our perspective, helps our spiritual eyes to see.

i will be praying for you more often now.

Nacole

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Craig January 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

first of all my friend, sorry I’m a day late in replying to your comment. How goes your comment section by the way – have you found answers? And you know what? You and I think exactly the same way about prayer – about god applying stuff before we even think to ask – that makes me smile. And Nacole – I’ll be praying for you more often too. God bless you!

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Mari January 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Oh when I saw that first image of the Stats textbook I became nauseous with flashbacks of college! But I’m glad your post wasn’t on independent and dependent variables, well it kinda was but in a good way =) I’m so glad there is light for you today…I did pray. Your words brought to mind something my pastor said on Sunday: the power isint in the prayer, it is in Jesus. Prayer is a vehicle he uses to make miracles happen. And this was a miracle! Such darkness you write about doesn’t just go away suddenly. I praise God for this. And I continue to pray…

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Craig January 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Mari, first of all I apologize for being so late in responding to your comment – not enough time – energy – sleep – too many things to do. But that’s no excuse. I heart it so much that you read –and take the time to comment. I really do. Thank you. And trust me – I’ll never write a post on independent and dependent variables – maybe I will – maybe. I. Will… Hmmmmm. ツ thank you for praying Mari – that means a lot to me. And of course – the power comes from God – but God wouldn’t want us to pray for each other if there wasn’t power in the actual prayer I think – I look upon it kind of like he’s the source of energy – and prayer the conductor – like we’re the light – and God is the electricity – and prayer is the power cord. You know what I mean? And there was something so different about this darkness – how quickly it rolled in – and wasn’t linked to circumstances, and how it left only after prayer – it was as dark as the deepest depression I think I’ve ever heard anyone have – and only after prayer did it go away – and only after naming this year “see”. Now to find out what God wants me to remember – from what I saw in that darkness. Thank you very much Mari, and as always, God bless you my friend – and I still feel like wishing you happy birthday – so happy birthday!!!!!! so there! ツ will

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Mari January 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

hehe! thank u for the birthday wishes! =)

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Craig January 13, 2012 at 7:59 am

☆.•*¨*•.•*¨`*•.¸.•*¨`* HAPPY BIRTHDAY STILL ☆.•*¨*•.•*¨`*•.¸.•*¨`*•.

:)

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Debbie January 11, 2012 at 1:10 am

Thank you Craig, as you show us what we need to do this year, in every situation. Pray. God bless you and bring you peace and rest in Him.

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Craig January 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Debbie, just thank you – just that – just thank you – I say it a lot – but I can never save enough for you. God bless you! and sorry I’m late responding – meh. sorry.

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Martha Orlando January 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Never late, Craig; always on time and always there . . . Thank you for all your responses to all of us who, like me, don’t take the time to always check back. Forgiveness? :)

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Craig January 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

no need for forgiveness – you’re too much of a blessing to have to forgive ツ

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george December 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm

i am pleased to say that is some good bitnuss

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