A disclaimer, of sorts, regarding my earlier post of C. H. Mackintosh: I've come to realize in a very personal way these last couple years that there are physiological effects from severe grief and trauma, as well as from chronic pain and disease, that cannot be dismissed or belittled. There can be real brain damage; neuro-pathways shut down or rerouted, new "fight or flight" thresholds established, etc. This is no mere excuse, but is proven scientific fact. I know now there are times where we may not have total voluntary control over how much gloom seems to invade our thoughts, or whether we suffer anxiety attacks or such like. These are non-volitional effects of trauma that we can't merely "talk ourselves out of," or make go away no matter how many verses we may recite. Such cases may require nothing less than an intervening act of God, and patience and compassion with no set limits from us as we wait upon the Lord in the meantime. I don't know to what degree C. H. Mackintosh, himself, may have personally experienced such loss or trauma at the time he wrote this (I know another favorite writer, J.B. Stoney, did). I believe it does make a difference. All this to say, we certainly ought not to condemn ourselves, and far less others, if, having suffered severely, our minds and ventings seem quick to go to the gloomy and seem awfully inclined, at times, to dwell there. But, as Paul wrote in another context, "As much as lieth IN YOU . . ." (Romans 12:18).
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