A treasure lost for a while, this booklet by Dr. Lechler was translated from French to Romanian by me (1980), and now from the Romanian in English by Lidia Crisan, Pert, Australia (2021). Feel free to spread the contents of this wonderful work in whatever form or shape you feel useful. Many are still waiting for this necessary understanding of ourselves.
The Romanian version is here:
Modern society has its own burdens. Among the most characteristic is excessive nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, impatience and more modern is the term stress or depression. How many of us can deny that we have had to deal with any of these?
Not by chance, more and more people resort to tranquillizers or try and adopt methods of internal meditation that are imported from the Orient. Neither one or the other are capable of satisfying our present need for peace and quietness (inner peace) long term.
Doctor Lechler endeavours to get to the root of all symptoms mentioned above. What it is? The lack of certitude (or lack of security). The lack of certainty that only God can provide. And He also puts them at our disposal through the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said; “I give you my peace”.
The words of Doctor Lechler are based on long term experience. As the chief medic at ‘Nohe-Mark’ in Taunus (former Federal Republic of Germany) he was there for a period of 23 years, an eminent neurologist and also a sought after spiritual advisor. Thanks to him, many patients had come to understand that God honors his own promises.
The one who entrusts, with full faith, their tired nerves in the hands of the Creator, will receive a reward from Him, namely rest, internal (inner) peace and a new power to overcome all the requests of this life.
1. THE NERVOUS SYSTEM – The masterpiece of the Divine Creator
What a magnificent work of art is the nervous system? Every single human organ testifies about the divine wisdom of a Creator (none of these organs can even begin to compare with the great wonders of human creations). Every single one of them is a work of art that no human mind can begin to conceive. But among them all, the masterpiece of all of God’s creations is the incomparable human central nervous system.
If we were to seek and find a comparison among any of the human great realizations we would have to compare it to giant telecommunications network. From a telephone exchange (the brain with millions of cells) with millions of communicating paths that communicate with every part of our organs, and even beyond them to the skin where it branches out again into another vast network of cells. Every elaborate thought can produce signals that are directed and then articulated through the nervous system to any zone in the organism. And inversely, every sensation or signal received from its environment is collected and transmitted instantaneously on the same path back to the central ‘analyzer’. A constant ‘go and return’ in an elaborate system of perfection of decision – communication – information.
Outside of the brain and the marrow of the spinal column which is comprised of:
1. The Central Nervous System (named the ‘cerebral-spine’ that is made up of;
- The Central Nervous system (appropriately named) (the brain and spinal marrow).
- The Peripheral Nervous system (the cranial and rahidini nerves) which are in the service of voluntary acts and psychological sensations of a man.
There also exists:
2. The Autonomous nervous system (the reflex) named the ‘life vegetative’ that is comprised of in essence of nervous fibers situated along the vertebral column. This commands spontaneous activity to the internal organs, of the veins and glands and influences likewise the metabolism, circulation and respiratory systems.
In reality, these two nervous systems, separately named, are tightly connected yet interdependent of each other. All the physical functions depend on a great measure of evolution and the condition of our psychological well being.
It is truly a work of art and it is unique! We remain breathless with admiration in face of such a miracle, which we cannot even begin to comprehend or to control and we can exclaim like David did saying; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Ps. 139:14 NIV)
It is self understood then that such an ensemble that is so complex, would with maximum sensibility, act towards everything it does and even towards the things that harm it. The nerves can become fatigued not just through an over-solicited psychological or intellectual exercise, not only, but by such as an over excited consumption of alcohol or tobacco, but also through internal disorders and also psychological tensions – especially when man is ruled by resentment or fears.
The hereditary enemy of man, is the irreconcilable and relentless Satan, and he knows all this and that is why some of his attacks upon us are directed directly to the nervous system. He plays on our nerves as if it were on the keys of a piano. On such a sensitive instrument as this, prepared by God for harmony and heavenly scores, charts and often manages to produce disastrous discord or harmony.
We have to take care of ourselves and to accord our nervous system the greatest attention that we possibly can. God has entrusted to us an extraordinary fine instrument, and we have the greatest obligation to maintain it in the best form and to protect it from anything that can provoke any damage.
We can’t do whatever we want with our nerves! They are also God’s property that we will all have to give an account for one day.
We need to entrust our nerves to the Lord. Only then will they be out of any danger. Even the weakened nerves will receive once again strength and will also be protected from the attacks of the evil one.
When we say about someone, ‘he is nervous’ or ‘she is nervous’, this expression can have three possible meanings. The person whom we are speaking about;
- Suffers from tiredness of their nervous system
- Suffers from a congenital weakness of the nervous system
- Suffers from a nervousness of a psychic order.
2. A TIRED NERVOUS SYSTEM
Sometimes the tiredness of the nervous system is also labeled as being ‘worn out’, because what provokes the tiredness is what also provokes this wearing out of the nervous system. I will list some of the things that cause this fatigue to occur;
Any excess of physical or intellectual work:
- For children; overworking at school
- For women; uninterrupted and constant house work and chores
- For men; an exhaustive job or career
- Lack of sleep and rest
- Nights without rest and spent in confined spaces or full of loud noises of big cities
- Abuse of alcohol or tobacco or any other substance abuse
- An unfulfilled sexual life
- An illness that is followed by a high temperature, cerebral concussion, or a major surgery, if they are not followed up by a appropriate regime of rest and proper care.
- A full gamut of worries and intense pre-occupations;
- Sorrow and all types of deception
- Any type of sentiment of humiliation brought about by persecution
- Opened conflicts with those in our families or from our close circle of friends
- An unsuccessful marriage
- And not last of all by importance, a stained conscience (that is) and (stained with) a guilty complex.
All of these lifestyles can provoke serious disruptions to the nervous system.
The most frequent symptoms of a tired nervous system are;
- Headaches and migraines, dizziness, nausea, gastric or intestinal disorders
- Pain in the chest or heart area and the increase in arterial tensions
- Functional disorder in the kidney and bladder
- Difficulties in your sexual life
- An excessive sensibility to loud noises, back pains, a general weakness, shaking, an abnormal perspiration, rosiness of skin, cold sensations to the feet and hands, muscular spasms or facial or head spasms
- An agitated sleep, the tendency to easily cry, or inversely to laugh unmotivated. Irritability and a sense of unrest, a reduced capacity to concentrate and of memory loss.
It is evident that not every case of tiredness in the nervous system can appear to have all the symptoms, but it is sufficient for just some of them to appear as to cause erosion to a good disposition. We then have to find a means to get to the centre of the problem and get as quickly and efficiently to a point of relaxation and a release of the accumulated tensions in our nervous system.
There exist a series of methods of this type, real therapeutic treatments. Here are a few to mention;
- Rest, sleep, a rational lifestyle, baths, walking in nature, a good hygiene of the skin, gymnastics, breathing exercises.
- A rich food source that is balanced
- A restriction of use (or moderate use) of sleeping pills and pills that induce excitement such as psychedelics
In this very restrained and simple brochure I cannot say more about each treatment in more detail, but I will Endeavour to give two sets of advice for the improvement of your health.
A. Advice for the hours of insomnia
First of all before anything else, before going to bed we have to release ourselves of all the things that have disrupted our day, and to entrust all our worries and unrest to the Lord. Just as you are in the habit of going to the physical (toilet or bathroom), get into the habit of going to the (spiritual bathroom). At the bedside don’t just take off your slippers, but also your irritations, the feelings of agitation and regrets from that day. We will never be able to do any of these if we do not place our focus on God. If you do not manage to fall asleep, then empty your heart and pour out your feelings telling God everything that is oppressing you.
Ask Him to take away the burdens by forgiving you, ask for a new heart that is full of love towards those who are hurting, and at the same time forgive all those who have hurt you in some way shape or form.
Ask Him to guide you in every major or minor problems you may have. If through faith in Jesus Christ you see God as your Father, then rest reassured that He cares for you and of everything that happens to all his children. From Him all comfort and consolation are received and the peace that you need to fall asleep.
If in the middle of the night you wake up and despite all your efforts you cannot fall back asleep, remember that sleep is a state of rest that cannot be entered back into by becoming agitated (or being fretful). Use that time then to read and meditate on the Word of God. “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises”. (Ps. 119:148 NIV)
Verify that you have bought before the Lord all your faults with repentance. Search your mind and your heart for any types of resentment and/or un-forgiveness (did you really forgive all those who have done wrong by you?) Maintain a quiet spirit thanking God for all the blessings that he has given you; “declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, 3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre”. (Ps. 92:2-3 ESV) and even in difficult situations give Him praise: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25 ESV).
If you will spend your waking hours in this manner do not worry if you cannot re-find your sleep. In actual fact it is not a long duration of sleep that is important, but the maintaining of a climate of quietness in which the soul can rest.
In the arms of the Father, you can find rest, more so than a full night of sleep, and you will wake up full of life. Remember that it was more beneficial for Jacob to have spent a night fighting alongside his Lord near the river Jabbok; “When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.
30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” (Gen. 32:25-30 ESV)
Many a people have only learned to truly pray in the hours of insomnia, in the quiet of the night where they came to realize that their helplessness and consciousness has bought them before the Lord.
On the other hand, it has to be said that Satan is also trying to use those hours of your insomnia to provoke your fall. That is why, similarly with the apostle Paul, we shall prove as servants of the Lord, even in the hours of ‘keeping watch’, in other words the nights of insomnia: “but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger” (2 Cor. 6:4-5 ESV).
B. The exercise of laughter
Here I want to present a medium (a method) of relaxation for the nervous system that has been proven, if not just for me, surprisingly beneficial results.
Despite all the applications and tensions that push us towards a weakening and nervousness, the question is always asked; in our makeup, is there a device that can reduce or decrease the nervous system in an automatic manner and without using specific external efforts or mediums Is there something that exists in us, through creation, an instinctive method that we can use to protect ourselves during the day to combat the nervousness tensions, the same way that during the night time we have our sleep?
Going along this thought and this question, it has been observed that the level of tension of the autonomous nervous system, is amazingly dependent on the well being of our soul. Our dark thoughts, sadness, anxiety, hatred, bitterness, all produce an automatic response to our nervous system. As soon as these feelings or experiences are substituted with a state of mind that is thankful and full of joy, the tensions on the nerves cease and their effect will disappear.
The conclusion that makes itself evident, naturally from this observation, is that joy and a state of thankfulness are two very indispensible states of being for a healthy nervous system and that they constitute at the same time the best method of relaxation of our nervous system tensions.
We cannot live without happiness, we all feel this instinctively. N.T. – That is how we came up with the saying; ‘turn that frown upside down’ came about. Only apparent superficially, this spontaneous reaction, is in essence an extraordinary weapon for self defence of the nervous system. Throughout the ages people have managed to overcome oppression by making light of any bad situation, and has been used nationally as a great weapon against oppression.
Anyone can observe that happiness determines an excessive secretion of saliva. This reflex reaction is not only produced when we anticipate a good sleep, but also when we see something very pleasant, or any time when our minds are preoccupied with pleasant thoughts. That’s when our nerves which coordinate the activity of our internal organs and the glandular system loosen up.
Reciprocally this is valid, the saliva glands are reduced dramatically and the function of our nervous system is disturbed every time when psychological tensions of any kind appear.
Have you never observed that after a certain type of emotion our tongue sticks to the roof of our mouth and we lose our appetite to eat? This type of emotion helps us to better understand how David, the Psalmist, describes his feelings under the conviction of his apparent guilt was being pushed on his guilty conscience: “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer” (Ps. 32:4 ESV).
We see that the secretion of the saliva glands is the best indicator of the level of tension in the autonomous nervous system. And here lies the best method of relaxation of the nervous system. Therefore joy seems to be the best and most remarkable remedy for toning the nerves. It is sufficient to create with good knowledge an atmosphere of internal joy by contemplating a wonderful painting or any type of show that we like, or maybe through listening to a preferred piece of music or to spend time among friends and people we feel comfortable around… so we can then suddenly feel how ‘our mouth waters’.
Because this type of internal state always translates into an external laughter or at best a smile. I like to call this the pursuit or exercise of smiling.
Smiling is the external sign of relaxation. The method is simple to practice and its use is at everyone’s disposal, especially those who want to cast themselves in God’s care all their worries on to the Lord, fixing our gaze and focusing on the wonderful things in our life. It can be practiced anytime and without limit, and never requiring a certain place or time to be able to practice it, unlike other exercises of relaxation.
The effect on the autonomous nervous system, most frequently, is very soon visible.
Headaches, lack of appetite, palpitations and tiredness – when they have a nervous origin – together with all the other disorders, begin to disappear when we begin to smile. The blood pressure arterial tension that originates from the nervous system begins to disappear, and sleep becomes better. Most of the psycho-somatic affections known can be treated through this method. Anyone who manages to practice systematically the ‘art of smiling’ will observe a rapid improvement and decrease in nervousness, nervous exhaustion condition or state .
If anyone can take a holiday, then that is great, but if during this time joy is lacking, then they will have a discounted recovery. But if joy invades your heart, the nerves begin to rebuild, even if the surrounding medium remains the same. Of course the one who lives constantly under the tension of worry and uncertainty, and who always gets worked up and gets angry easily, who work under constant pressure, will never be able to smile or laugh. These people will never be able to relax their nervous system.
But if the reminiscing of nice thoughts is essential when we want to exercise smiling, then out of all the people on earth, a Christian is in the best position to relax their nerves and bring about the relaxation desired.
Only they can be thankful with everything that is going on around them, even if evidently everything is bleak, and we see the hand of God that loves them and who makes; ‘all things to work together for those who love Him’ (Romans 8:28 ESV)
Only they can rejoice about all things, even the insignificant things in life: of a flower, of a bird, because they see them as directly created by God made for their delight. And only they can; ‘Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18 ESV)
To know that you are a child of God, and only this should be a serious enough motive to bring you joy.
In this ‘joy of the Lord’ stands our strength, because God never forgets his children and he guides them on the right path.
The joy of a Christian is superior to other forms of joy that are offered by the world. This joy is unending and independent of the external conditions offered by life. The apostle Paul experienced this joy personally, otherwise he would never have been able to say; 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Phil. 4:4 ESV)
“Always” means, “in all circumstances”. A sanguine temperament is a strong foundation for utilizing the ‘smiling exercise’, but yes, even a sanguine can have dark days, when he is incapable of joy. Only a true Christian can ‘always’ be in a state of joy despite the lack of visible joy around them, because his joy is in the fruits of the Spirit that allows them at any time to have a radiant face that has a smile, and to produce within the nervous system a much needed relaxation.
Therefore entrust your tired nerves to the Lord. Give Him your time, even the time of insomnia.
As a Christian doctor I tell you: Use all the natural means trusting God for strengthening of your nervous system, through the joy that Christ wants to give you: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn. 15:11 ESV), put at your nerve’s disposal a new vigour. Then you will know the true meaning of the words of the Psalmist: “He satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”. (Ps. 103:5 ESV)
3. THE CONGENITAL NERVOUS FRAGILITY
Temporary tiredness of the nervous system can be wholly recuperated and healed, even in the case following an irrational conduit (condemnable) even if it has been extended over a period of years (in most occasions, tiredness of the nerves can be re-established completely in a matter of weeks, and in worst cases, months).
With distinction from temporal weakness, the fragility of the congenital nerves will persist and be ever present even when the person in question tries to strengthen their nervous system taking prescribed medication and taking refuge in a climate of thanksgiving offered by faith in God.
In such, or some cases, the particular nervous system is still in a sensitive state from birth and it can become tired extremely quick. Any type of physical or mental exercise, any type of emotion, not necessarily a sad one, even one that brings happiness, or a sudden change in the weather, a smoked cigarette, or a small excess consumption of alcohol are sufficient causes to unleash a disequilibrium of the nervous system, even the smallest physical or mental effort, or any type of strong emotion.
Most of the time, these people have people in their family or grandparents that have been tormented of similar disorders. The first symptoms usually manifest themselves in childhood or adolescence, sometimes in headaches, other times through constant unjustified tiredness or fatigue, and sometimes through insomnia. On the other hand the disorders that are caused, be it by the congenital fragility, or from tiredness of the nerves are very similar to each other.
On many occasions, an illness, followed by a fever, or following a strong traumatic psychological tension, you can trigger this true nervous depression. This is reflected in the capacity to work and is necessary that a climate of rest be adopted with frequent periods of rest.
If, even from birth you have suffered of a similar weakness, then it is absolutely necessary to entrust your nerves in the hands of the Lord.
- Do not allow yourself to be overcome by discouragement neither defeated by a sentiment of inferiority in the face of those who are stronger. Do not fall into despair and do not lose your taste for living. Do not make God the enemy for the destiny that he has prepared for you, and never envy those that have strong nerves.
- Do not become masters of self pity, always blaming others for the lack of care they are showing towards you, or because they do not take enough gentleness around you. Do not let your state become a constant excuse of never finishing anything.
On most occasions, it is not the mental fatigue that stops you from praying, and for the lack of love you have towards God. The true reason, not easy enough to be found, but rather a faith that is wavering.
Accept serenely the fragility of you nervous system, receiving it as a gift given to you by God. God knows what he is doing and his actions always have a superior positive motive and reasoning. Sooner or later you will come to understand why it had to be this way.
Be sure, even from now, that the apparent infirmity is an integral part of God’s plan and love for you that was planned for your life. And even towards those with weakened nerves, God is the same Father full of wisdom and love.
Maybe your weakness is a ‘thorn in the flesh’ that the apostle Paul spoke about, and must be carried constantly as a mechanism against pride. If you still had strong nerves today, would you be able to fulfil all your desires? Maybe you would have been transformed into an arrogant individual, irritating all those around you with your ego-centric plans.
Or maybe the fragility that characterizes you is a fitting medium that is working at perfecting you internally. Think, that without a cross (and your suffering can be viewed as a type of cross, if you receive it as such from God) you would never be able to associate with our Lord Jesus: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. (Phil. 2:5-8 ESV)
Unique men of God never developed through the lack of pain or hardships, but in the face of them, because it is not the absence of obstacles that defines a ‘master’, but the way in which they are able to overcome each one of them.
Who knows if not God somehow allowed this fragility for you, just so that you would learn to become absolutely dependant on God’s omnipotence? Maybe he wants to teach you life’s most important lessons of total submission in an acceptance of His divine sovereignty.
Or maybe, likewise as admirable, is that He wants to purify you through suffering until you will understand that you have to renounce to all your personal desires and wants. Only when we recognize that we are weak, can we truly turn with our whole being towards God and wait for his help.
Think about your suffering as a testing that has been allowed by God over your life. He wants to find out if your trust in Him remains unshaken even in the time of a storm. One day this storm will pass. But until it does, remain in the faith knowing that: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man”. (1 Cor. 10:13 ESV)
If you endure in silence, God will be honoured, and those around you will be witnesses of what the Holy Spirit has worked in you. In the case of the apostle Paul, that so called ‘thorn in his flesh contributed to the evidence of God’s power: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”. (2 Cor. 4:7 ESV)
How quickly would you have been filled with anger if you were a man full of strength and self confidence? Now that weakness can transform you into a true disciple of Christ through which, despite the physical weakness, you can see God’s grace and strength: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. (2 Cor. 12:9 ESV)
If you ask yourself, somehow: ‘Do I have to suffer for the sins of my parents? Is my suffering a direct punishment from God?’ Allow me to respond to that by saying: beyond any hereditary reasoning is the power of the grace of God, who can transform into a blessing even the sins of our parents. If you have become a child of God, you are no longer under His wrath, and you can benefit from His unending love. (Ezekiel 18)
If I have helped you in somewhat of a measure to find in what I have written so far, a justification for your suffering that you are going through, if I have managed to find together with you a sense in life, then we have managed to get over the biggest ‘hurdle’. Understanding this is more than half the journey towards relaxing your nerves. And the relaxation of your nerves is the single and only medium that you can maintain a condition of having a thankful soul.
The second step that we have to make consists in the ability to discern reasonable limits in your life. It is strictly necessary to know the limits between what God’s expectations are from you, and what He will never claim from you, knowing that you have a fragile state of health.
Don’t ever propose to achieve certain goals that overtake your possibilities. With certainty, the Lord will never have these expectations from you. There will be things that you will not be able to do. Be certain however that there will be sufficient things that you will be able to do and things that will bring you plenty of satisfaction.
Try getting used to seeing the good side in things, rather than the bad. Many people that are in a similar situation as your own, have learned to live a lifestyle that protects them from falling, and from the things that would otherwise ruin their health further. They have managed to set their personal limits thus managing to live quite long lives with their ‘batteries still full’.
Therefore I urge you to reflect on another thing, not being any less important; No one in this world can understand and help those who are suffering as those who also going through the same suffering themselves. There are so many people out there with weakened nerves that will one day need your help. Many who have suffered have penned down their history and they have written their pain and victories, and their testimonies have helped out others enormously.
I testify that all these words so far have not been ‘empty words’ or even so called ‘theories’ that have been learned from psychiatric manuals. Everything that you read is personally experienced by me on my own skin.
For the Christians I want to add one more thing. The Bible offers us many verses that are like medicine. It is good for us to not neglect them and administer them to our soul, at least with as much passion and consciousness as those who swallow boxes of pills. Here are but some of them: “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength”. (Isa. 40:29 ESV)
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. (Matt. 11:28 ESV)
“ So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day”. (2 Cor. 4:16 ESV)
The Bible shows Jesus coming to this world for those who are weak and powerless, in other words exactly for those who are in need of a doctor: “But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick”. (Matt. 9:12 ESV)
He can fill the shortages of the weak. Moses, didn’t he have a speech impediment? “But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” (Exod. 4:10 ESV) And yet, the Lord chose to show His power! The apostle Paul, didn’t he suffer in flesh? “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (1 Cor. 2:3 ESV) And despite this, God chose him for the most exhaustive apostleship throughout the gentiles.
Just think of other children of God whom, despite their bodily weaknesses did not linger or wait for special invitations to serve with faithfulness their personal Saviour. Yes, God filled them with his Holy Spirit even those with weakened nerves and they truly transformed them in real blessings for those around them. If you ask in prayer, the same fullness can be yours and then you can repeat over and over again the words of David: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation”. (Ps. 68:19 ESV)
If the Lord has placed upon you a burden of fragility in your nervous system, He also will be the one who will help you to bear it every single day. Despite the burden, or maybe because of it you will reach a place where you will begin to understand true joy and to be able to look forward with optimism. That is the way that the apostle Paul lived: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. (2 Cor. 12:10 ESV)
Place the burden of your weakness into God’s hands and wait in quietness, which is the way that Jesus showed us. He also had to accept suffering on behalf of his heavenly Father. Through the same attitude of acceptance you will make yourself partakers with Christ and enter into communion with him.
Isn’t it true that there is a great comfort in knowing that even our Lord knew what suffering was? That he also was confused, encompassed by sadness and death, thrilled in his spirit and encompassed by the sentiment of abandonment and tormented by the agony of accepting the ‘cup’?
Today he can also understand us when we go through similar situations. Meditate just a moment at what Isaiah said: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted”. (Isa. 53:4 ESV) …even for those provoked by our weakened nerves.
Christ was, and wants to be your teacher in your suffering. If you suffer together with him, one day you will also have part of His glory and honour. In this manner He was raised up more than he suffered. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name”, (Phil. 2:9 ESV) and we will be glorified together with Him, if we accept to suffer together with Him: “and if children, then heirs– heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”. (Rom. 8:17-18 ESV)
4. Nervousness of psychological origins
When we speak about someone’s nervousness, we are not only referring to his tiredness which is related to the nervous system or to a state of fragility of his nervous system, but also to strong emotional states that translate well in psychological terms phenomena’s that produce disorders in the function of the nerves.
In this category of strong emotions we can list the following: restlessness, worrying, anger and irritability, impatience and lack of control.
Because of the strong bonds that exist between body and spirit, the emotive manifestations can give birth to psychological disturbances that produce spasms in differing organs, and a gamut of functional disturbances already mentioned.
Emotions and nervous disorders often share the same causes, but most of the time, the source often is hard to track, are being placed in the preferential domain of the subconscious.
That is why for the disposal of shortcomings it is necessary to have detailed self control over our love life. We will never truly reach a point of healing until we manage to identify and to eliminate the source of devastating emotions. Without this operation we will achieve only a temporary improvement with a sure relapse.
For a screening of the subconscious sources of emotions, neither the spiritual counsellor, nor the psychiatrist is sufficient. We have to admit openly that we lack the capacity to probe deeply inside the human being. How could we penetrate into the subconscious of someone else, when we are incapable of entering our own person subconsciousness? The human presence can only at best facilitate such an investigation, but for the actual self surgery is the need for the intervention of the Creator. Only the Holy Spirit can search ‘the hidden things of the soul’ and only He, holding in front of our eyes the mirror of God’s Word, can He show us our true likeness.
In the book of Hebrews we find written; 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4:12 ESV)
Here we have the guarantee that God can shed light on the sources of our subconscious emotions to everyone who bows with diligence upon the Bible and thus accepts the works of the Holy Spirit.
Together with King David we can pray as he did; 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Ps. 139:23-24 ESV. When we are full with the Spirit of Jesus (who knew what is in man) 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (Jn. 2:24-25 ESV) we learn to know ourselves better.
We do not want the above statement to be taken as a direct attack against psychology or the psycho-analysis psychologists, which on most occasions do a very good job. Nevertheless, it would be lacking in modesty to sustain that a psychoanalyst can probe with absolute certainty into the depths of the human heart.
The Christian has other mediums at their disposal. And even if sufficient Christians do not know themselves and are not able to diagnose their weaknesses, then this happens as a result of the fact that they neglect to pray and to read the Bible, saddening without ceasing the Holy Spirit through a life of disobedience.
The Spirit of truth needs to guide us in all truth; 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (Jn. 16:13 ESV)
But how can He do it when we prefer to stand deaf to the voice of God?
- Restlessness and worry
Let us examine now, one after another, the emotional states that are specific to the transformation of someone into a ‘nervous person’. First of all we will mention restlessness and worry.
We can say that there is no other emotion that is more wide-spread as restlessness; each one of us knows it, and feels it, from time to time when it presents itself and disturbs our soul, even if externally, be it good or bad, we manage to express a sense of peace and security.
What is the content of our restlessness?
There exists for example, a fear of a new world war. It transformed a whole society in a restless society. But there are many other fears, more personal and more devastating;
- Fear of illness or accidents
- Fear before those who want to harm us
- Fear to have contact with a boss that has a difficult character
- The fear of a guilty conscious being discovered
- Fear of death, but not only the fear but also the thought of a painful agony, but also the fear of judgement after death. There isn’t a man who does not fear God. Even those who negate His existence, or boast with their unbelief are pressed inside with the fear of one day standing before a ‘Just Judge’.
The fears listed above and many others have dire consequences upon the whole being. They keep our soul in a constant tension from where all types of disorders are born. Primarily they are palpitations, stomach aches and intestinal disorders. The same can be said about worrying, about the way it spreads and about the way it influences the human organism adversely.
A multitude of worries rushes upon us, like a flock of black and aggressive ravens. Worries upon our health, upon the happiness of loved ones, upon the future of our land. To these can be added another long list of dark thoughts which when they come from elsewhere, unjustified by reality, but sufficiently rude, will come as blow up our good disposition.
A multitude of worries will agitate us aimlessly, because these things never happen the way we anticipate them as excessive pessimists.
Oh how harmful are all these periods of unrest for the equilibrium of our nervous system and for the quietness of our heart. As long as we allow ourselves to be enslaved by worries, we bear in our soul the chains of discouragement and restlessness, and our mind will never know how to rest.
So, from personal experience, we can agree with the saying of the wise Sirah; “Our worries age us before our time”.
A manifestation that is characteristic of someone who worries is the excessive care we accord to ourselves. That which hides under this apparent instinct of self conservation is a double fear; the fear of life and its trials, and the fear of death. Both attract major disorders to the nervous system. The one who perseveres in an exaggerated state of self attention (narcissism), examining himself of any apparent abnormal manifestation and constantly asking; “Is it me who suffers from a serious illness that is irreversible?” The person who speaks constantly every day about their headaches and cannot concentrate upon anything else except that which can bring them misery, they have to know that the thoughts that they have, will make them much sicker than the microbes that they believe haunt them.
If we have understood that restlessness and worries are not our allies, but enemies, then there only remains one question; ‘Can we escape from them? Can we get away from their harmful action?’
There is only one answer; ‘Yes it can be done, with the condition that we step out of ourselves and appeal for the help of God’. Entrust your fears in God’s hands and, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7 ESV). Learn to stop worrying unnecessarily about useless things and begin to accept with cheerfulness ‘the good will of God, that which is pleasant and perfect’.
Proceeding in the following manner you will manage to find that inner peace that you have been searching for. Not refusing to live life as it is does (not) exempt us from worry, neither will the thirst after living life to the fullest will guarantee to make us happy, nor even running after unrealistic realities will never guarantee us serenity.
To actually overcome all obstacles together with God, and to receive them all as from the One who “makes all things to work together for those who love Him”, this is the only way of rising above the restlessness and worries.
The true victory against these enemies can only be obtained through Jesus Christ, who has already defeated this world and death for us. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33 ESV)
Only trusting in Him can you overcome your unbelief and only through a permanent awareness of His Presence can your soul find rest. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Ps. 23:4 ESV)
Every single time when restlessness and fear come, think of the fact that you are a disciple of Lord Jesus, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: (2 Cor. 6:4 ESV)….and that nothing can actually separate us from the love of God. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Rom. 8:35 ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7 ESV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt. 6:25-34 ESV)
B. Anger and irritability
More so than restlessness and worries, the most characteristic signs of a nervous or angry type (during times of nervousness) and also at the same time the most diverse and acute functional disorders of the nervous system are: anger and irritability. With a sense of priority, they produce a very bad effect over the vascular nerves of the brain, evidently able to be seen by a change of the face’s colour from a pale to a flushing (of the skin cells) that are noticeably visible. Built up stress could keep you up at night. Here Sirah was right when he said; ‘jealousy and anger shorten a man’s life’.
There are two types of irritations: one that is constant, that is provoked by own self bad habits and mistakes, and the other an explosive or instantaneous, that is caused by the mistakes of those that surround us. We can say from the beginning that all forms of anger – with exception of ‘holy anger’ – are both forms of egocentrism.
The one who angers easily only goes to prove this basic fact that the ‘ego’ or the ‘self’ continues to be the centre of their daily preoccupation. They get worked up when something doesn’t go their way, they get irritated when they have to support some type of humiliation and cannot accept at any cost to lose their first place status among others.
Likewise they create scandals when others do not do as he says and he feels, constantly being the target of all offenses and other people ironies. Because as soon as he is pre-occupied with his own interests, any obstacle that appears on their path start to irritate them and makes them ‘get all worked up’. For him it is totally impossible to admit that someone else can be right and that is why they constantly feel persecuted and treated with little attention than he deserves.
Usually, he finds it hard to forgive others, and is incapable to absolve of guilt (that is associated with) those who are sick, less educated, in a worst financial state or children who are immature.
Let me once again become your counsellor and advise you to place your anger and irritability in the hands of the Lord that transforms you in angry people. In other words, pray that the Lord will reveal to you the true reason of your irritability, being ready to recognize the mistakes that you have committed against God or towards those in your circle of friends. Stop believing that you are the centre of the universe and that the world revolves around you, entrusting to the Lord all the things that unsettle you and soon you will reach a place of rest and relaxation. Even in the case where you suffer from a congenital instability, you can make continuous progress reaching in time a total recovery and a complete healing. God can truly make ‘all things new’.
Maybe it is in your nature to be a strong willed man with a sense of pride and vanity and now the Lord wants to humble you and to teach you to have a ‘humble self opinion about yourself’. Do not linger in perversity, and learn this lesson quickly. It will cost you less if you learn it sooner.
When you feel angry next time, pray that God to bring to fruition love and benevolence. Remember that our Saviour also urged his disciples at all times to ‘learn from Him, humbleness and gentleness, an attitude of serventhood to those around him, and a tolerance towards the defects of others and love towards all people. Love is full of understanding towards others. Love tries constantly to place themselves in the others shoes, it does not rejoice in bringing to the surface the mistakes of others, but prefers to turn a blind eye. Love covers everything, suffers everything. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor. 13:7 ESV)
We need to recognize that among us, most of the time we get angry for insignificant things. Try and view all these things through the prism of eternity and you will see how you will begin to become amused by ‘the storm in the teacup’.
Only by doing this, slowly but surely you will receive from the Lord strength to get away from the grip of the empire of the nerves. It would be futile to try any other paths, swallowing hand full of benzodiazepines, or even practicing meditation or relaxation exercises. The best case scenario would be a temporary improvement. The single most effective way to a result that is long lasting is a sincere return back to God and a filling with the Holy Spirit.
C. Impatience and self control
Here are two more manifestations of the nerves that are weakened: impatience and self control. They produce a twitch in the nervous system and are externalized through diverse disorders from which we can observe its effects in the blood circulation and stomach pains.
In essence, impatience is similar to anger and both are a form of egocentricity. We cannot support to wait for our desires to be fulfilled. Everything must serve us right now. You try and do as much as possible and as quickly as possible. Those who cannot wait will show their whimsical nature.
Some become impatient when they do not receive a favourable reply from their prayers. They are faithful in ‘the blue sky’ but who doubt in the Lord once they see a delay in His response. And how many of us know how great the temptation is to shorten the waiting time by diverse and unwise personal interventions and try and personally intervene ourselves! Does the all powerful God need our interventions?
We will never escape from impatience except when we learn to give way to others first and putting our desires second. And we will never have a peaceful or calm attitude before the Lord until we learn to entrust even our impatience to Him – in other words, when we bring to His attention our desires in the hope that He will respond at the time that He decides. 26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Lam. 3:26 ESV)
Self control is closely related to impatience. This is how often we arrive to justify our impatience: ‘we have to hurry cos we don’t have much time’. But why do we have so little time on our hands? This is why: we are trying to do too many things like Martha. We cannot stay still too long without finding something to do. We run after non-essential things, we get agitated and we never get to complete anything we start.
It is almost as if we are incapable to read a book from cover to cover. We neglect to read the Bible, nor have we the time for meditation upon His word. What else can we say?. We have become deaf to the voice of the Lord.
Often times we are so impatient that we cannot finish anything that we start. We start many thigs and we never succeed to finish anything. Even when we have time, we rush as if someone was chasing us. Even in the work of the Lord, some work with no self control or patience. They justify their internal disorders through Bible texts, that are misunderstood and taken out of context, such as the verse: ‘Redeem the time’, which was said by the Apostle Paul.16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:16 ESV) and; 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. (Jn. 9:4 ESV)
Without a doubt, these texts exist and have been spoken by people who fulfilled impressive works. The apostle Paul one day wrote to those in Corinth; 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Cor. 15:10 ESV). But that verse ‘redeem time’ that was spoken by him did not mean hurry up and lose control. In the midst of all these activities, Paul knew how to place himself, through Christ in God and find his peace and quietness. He tasted from the peace that is given only we depend on the Lord and that is why he often started to write his letters by saying; ‘May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you all’.
Can anyone imagine Christ being inpatient? Could someone say that he lacked self control, the One who was waiting for the fulfilment of the Father’s plan when saying to all who were watching him: ‘My time has not yet come?’ Peace was always present in his spirit; even if sometimes he was so busy he ‘had no time to eat’. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mk. 6:31 ESV)
We have to understand well that this should be the case with us also. His will is so that His peace should never abandon us. In the whirlwind of our daily preoccupations and add to that even the attacks of Satan, the peace that comes from God is the only one that can protect our minds and hearts.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7 ESV)
A state of constant agitation is not synonyms with only that twitch of our nervous system, but also our spiritual death. An agitated man has no time for God in his life.
And another thing: being agitated is contagious. An agitated man troubles everyone around him. Try thinking how much harm you are doing to the people around you, by spreading this annoying virus.
Of course God desires that we use our time wisely. But we have to realize that there is a great distinction between using our time fruitfully and the slavery of an irrational life of activities at any cost; between being purely and simply active and to be serving the Lord. Serving God is done on His terms and He wants your witness to be in quietness and serenity.
Let it be said once again: entrust your impatience and lack of self control to God! Ask for a spirit that is humble and quiet, and learn to place yourself in Christ and in the Lord’s grace and peace. There are three conditions that need to be fulfilled so that you can live a life that has this state of calmness.
- Entrust to God, even from the first hour of your waking day, the work that is ahead of you. Learn to plan ahead together with the Sovereign One of the Universe. If you manage to receive His permission, be certain that all the resources of the universe will help you reach your fulfilment. Start your day with clarity and remind yourself constantly, that God himself is alongside you. One day has only 24 hours in it, and surely He will never ask you to complete more activities than you can fit into 24 hours.
- Receive as from the Lord everything that will happen that day. Do this even though something unpleasant or unexpected happens. Every time your schedule is turned upside down with unexpected events, do not allow yourself to lose your calm, but on the contrary; remain strong in faith and believe that God has sent you a modified schedule that is according to His will.
Be certain that he will supply you with all the extra energy required to complete whatever he has ordained until the end. Believing and trusting in His help, you will be able to maintain an inner peace despite of the intense activity you are engaged in.
- Learn to work while praying. Never forget that through prayer you are keeping a direct connection with the energy that comes from heaven. In the smallest of breaks or downtime, learn to say a small prayer to God. Remember that you are constantly in his attention and that it is in fact He that will give you the ‘will and the achievement’. If you do this , even if you feel overwhelmed and feel like you are going to cave under pressure you will be able to say like David did; 1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. 3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? 4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah 5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Ps. 62:1-5 ESV)
Whether it be that you are engulfed by restlessness and worry, anger and irritability, or of impatience and lack of self control, there is a cure for each of you. Entrust your tired nerves in the hands of the Lord.
In exchange you will receive strength to be able to stand against any attacks from the evil one. The word of God and the Holy Spirit are the most competent medical advisors when it comes to offering healing. The action of the Creator by far exceed any other action done more or less than by any drug available.
You have the possibility to experiment for yourself, every day, this healing force of your body and soul.
Faith, Acceptance and Thanksgiving!
God knows what He is doing.
Neurosis is a mental condition. However, these tensions bottles up can flare up under psychic or mental forms. These symptoms act like safety valves; without them, interior tensions, always building up, could provoke a real state of psychic illness. A neurosis that is untreated can lead to psychosis. The causes however, and fortunately so, are rare and only become apparent to few people with a pre-disposition.