Apart from the sacrificial figure on the cross and the blessed emptiness of the tomb, at present God is showing his love for me most in the office of a Christian clinical psychologist. It is only a transition time in my life, but the experience of relief and growing calm is so real that at least for now this statement is true.

I write in the full consciousness of the many other spiritual and physical blessings God has given me. My marriage, my children, my husband’s job, our home, are all part of God’s goodness. God is working in our church in fresh and fruitful ways. I find God’s love in depth in the freedom and acceptance of a psychologist’s office because I know that He could be saying instead, with the same perfect justification with which he always acts, “Shape up, child. Count your blessings. You already have far more than enough.”

I also write knowing full well that if I were a woman in a place like Burundi, a wife who had just felt the last embrace of a Christian husband taken from his home to execution, or a mother whose child had just been snatched from a Christian school and mutilated, my problems would melt in the intense heat of that fiery trial. We Christians in our Western affluence are subject to a different kind of trial—to the many faces of depression, to shadowy goals that defy attainment, to our general preoccupation with grasping at spiritual formulas to find fulfillment. How do we meet these trials?

Twice recently someone has said, “You don’t need a psychologist when you have the Bible.” I disagree. It may well be reading the Bible that shows a person his need for professional care. In verse after verse we are confronted with God’s standard, the awesome fact that we “should be holy and blameless before ...

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