There are days when it seems that the biggest giants I face in my life run rampant through the streets of my mind and heart pillaging my happy thoughts and plundering my cheerful feelings. What remains are desolate streets of depression, a thick smoke of lingering sadness and piles of desperate debris.
I do believe that my primary adversary in my life are the thoughts and feelings that I have within myself.
So many times when I write, I wish that there would be something in my words that connect us and draw us together. But, today it is my hope that you are not able to relate. I pray that you would be spared from this nasty things that seem to flood my mind and with it that you would be spared the hurt, pain and anguish that come with it. May you be blessed only trying to imagine what it is like, and may you not have a depth of understanding brought by shared experiences.
I once saw a sign that said “Never mind walking a mile in my shoes. Try thinking a day in my head.” At first I laughed at the truth within the message, but then I quickly recanted that thought. I would not wish that upon anyone.
My head is a mess most days. I think calmly, I think frantically. I overlook things. Others I allow other things to simmer continually until they are scorched and blackened, filling my mind with horrible stench of something burnt. Sometimes I am lost within my mind, amiably meandering in quiet & quaint nooks, yet other times I feel frantically trapped in a terrifying house of mirrors I can not get out of.
There are times where I over inflate myself attempting to be larger than life, and other times where I take myself down dark alleyways to sadistically beat myself for my failures and short comings. There are times where I take something that was said to me and magnify it until it is all I can see in my minds eye.
There is no amusement park ride that could even begin to compare to the treacherous trek that my feelings throttle me through daily. Highs, lows, love, courage, fear, anxiety, joy, sadness, hurt, happiness & cheer, guilt and shame.
I am a morning person and when I am up in the morning I am ready to fight the good fight, to offer the best that I have and to live out my mission to encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm. It should be said that under most circumstances, I am not a night person. I am exhausted, weary and crabby. I move slowly and think slowly. I want and need sleep, but often times find myself eating away my exhaustion or watching something on Netflix to zone out. While I can claim to learn a lot from my end of the day documentaries, it’s really not the best use of my time, but an attempt to escape.
So often these things circle within me, again and again and again. In some ways making me dizzy. In other ways, feeling like there is this giant spinning hurricane growing with force and might, threatening destruction and building pressure like a shaken bottle of ginger ale on the verge of exploding.
I can relate so much to the words that were penned in Romans 7:14-25. Here it is in the Message translation.
“14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”
Where do you think this would leave me? Alone, in my sorrows? Saturated in my sin, dead woman walking? Abandoned, left to face the storm head on?
Here is one of the craziest blessings of my life. My Lord, Jesus Christ takes this mass of “contradictions” which flurry through me on a daily basis and “sets things right” or as the NIV version of verse 25 says, Christ “delivers me.” Whatever is spinning around inside me, He takes with His mighty hand and straightens out. He calms the storm or calms my heart. He shines light into the dark corners and replaces harsh sounds with the softest symphony. My God slays giants with a perfect pitch and a single stone. Even those of Goliath size are made insignificant in comparison to the Lord’s glory.
Then to continue to bless me in His gracious abundance, God offers me the gift of friends and family who love me. They take it all into account – the good, the bad and the really disgusting – and still offer me an opportunity to be connected to other precious lives. This broken being, they refer to as a beautiful blessing.
I am a beautiful blessing onto this world. You are a beautiful blessing onto this world.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? But just because something is hard to believe, does not mean that it is not true. We were crafted by the hand of a perfect God and are each a beautiful masterpiece. In God’s gallery we would be on display in the same exhibit, works of priceless art guarded by God himself.
Our feelings and our thoughts can so often cause us to reject, rather than accept God’s perfect love for us. Our hearts can be so filled with doubt. It is then that we must hang on to the truth revealed in 1 John 3:20 (NIV), “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
God does not condemn you, He welcomes you. In fact He more than welcomes, He rejoices over you (Zephaniah 3:17).
Dear and Beloved Lord,
How can I even begin to thank You? You are so wonderful and so amazing! I can not believe that You would accept a mess like me, let alone to love, cherish, adore and rejoice over me. Lord, I am so weary from the day to day battling of these thoughts and feelings. These giants that pillage and plunder. I thank You so much for being ever present and all powerful. Thank You for using Your power, truth and might to take down giants and set things right.
Lord, I so humbly fall before You right now with a greater request. Lord, I feel as if there are some out there whose hope is so greatly diminished that it probably feels as if it has been extinguished all together. Lord, it is so hard to seek and accept help. Lord, that takes such a place of surrender and courage. But, to offer up where we truly are is an early step to receiving help.
So Lord, I pray that You would place helpers from Heaven in the lives of these people. Give them hearing of a canine picking up the softest cries for help. Give them the sight of an eagle that they may see the warning signs. Give them wisdom like Solomon through the Spirit that dwells within to say what we be healing and do what will bring hope. May it all be done as acts of love.
Lord, thank You for helping me to write the truths of my life. Thank You for helping to type each word. Lord, may my efforts be a sacrifice worthy of You. You are so amazing, Lord. You truly are! Thank You for Your love. May it be more and more the focus of our feelings and our thoughts.
In the name that delivers and sets things right, in Jesus Christ, amen.