I am in the middle of a storm. A big one. Perhaps the most raging and dark one of my life so far. Perhaps not, but it's hard to remember how bad storms were once they blow over. I am in a swirl of circumstances that all are either hard, painful, stressful, crushing, frustrating and...very near to making me toy with the word "DESPAIR." As a believer I know that I am not called to a life of fear, anxiety and hopelessness....rather, I am called...commanded...to have a life of joy in every circumstance. To not fear or be anxious but to present my needs to the Lord in prayer and petition. To be hopeful because Christ is my hope. He already died and rose for me, which is all I need, so there is already victory.
Yet...wave after wave of circumstances slap me in the face like I was born to eat sand. I hear a constant voice of "you can't do it, it's too hard, you're a failure, this is never going to get better, you're alone, God's not listening or answering, God is able to do great things but he won't do them for you, give up, give up, give up, GIVE UP!" LIES! Lies lies lies stupid, evil lies. Yet, my emotions (stupid emotions) join in the chorus and I struggle to not crumble into a melted puddle of tears after exhausting every sob and sigh.
I know I sound desperate. Dramatic...two words that I find very negative in these sorts of contexts and certainly don't want to apply to myself. But...I know I am desperate. Dramatic. Blast! God, please help me. I want to be desperate for YOU and dramatic as I tell of your greatness! I am completely exhausted physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, yet...I am called to press on, keep fighting.
I know that God's tender mercy is very real. Very present. His wisdom and grace are generous. His ways are not to be questioned because He is perfect and He is good. Always. Therefore, what he allows in my life is part of his perfect and good plan. I am called to be joyful always...
I told someone the other day that I felt like I was reminded of the passage in Kings where Elijah had just had a huge victory, but then when Jezebel chased him...he ran away. He was discouraged and fearful, and totally worn out and he said:
"It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God."
I know I have what I need to fight. To be victorious. God. My help, my rock. But...I feel like I don't have enough in me to even fight and just need God...to feed me. To nourish me...as he did through the angel for Elijah.
Recently I have realized that I have lived most of my life coping with hurt or fear by controlling areas I "can" control. Or at least "feel" like I have a measure of control. I have made control my security, and because it has been security that is greater than God my rock, it is an idol. Well, right now I don't see any circumstance that is in my control. There is nothing that I can grab hold of (that's not God) to feel better or distract me into feeling like I can "do something" to fix all the problems. All the pains. All the hard.
GOOD. You know why? I am at the end of myself. PERFECT. You know why? It's because that is where I realize that it never was me on my own anyway, but Christ in me, helping me...and He still will give me what I need to carry on. Christ is:
My everlasting surety.
God may not show me why he is allowing everything to seem as if it is crashing in around me. As if nothing will get better, just worse. But...He is sovereign and I have always found him faithful. He has never failed me and I know he never will. His love never fails. His glory and goodness are everlasting. I. can. trust. HIM. I can trust Him. I can trust him!! GLORY.
When I feel like I am totally out of control, (which I do) and that my path in front of me is despair, I must remember James 1:2: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
My emotions are a very real shadow trying to present as reality. My physical body is fragile and in great need of restoration. My spiritual (faith) is very weak. My mind is raggedly trying to remember truth. So I now cry, my God, please give me wisdom. Give me YOU. I don't have what it takes to pull myself out of this in my own strength, so give me YOU who are more than enough. Let me remember that you hear my cries and you answer and I can trust you are working good even when I don't see the good. Let my soul find rest in you. Let me take up the Word and wield it as the ultimate truth that will leave me victorious in battle. Let me walk through this hard, not run away. Let me grow and mature in my faith and my character. Produce holiness in your child as a result of a chaotic fatiguing battle.
I am weak. But when I am weak, I am strong. (2 cor 2:10).
This post is raw. Not well edited. I am not through the battle...but I am continuing the fight with these verses:
" I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth." -psalm 121:1-2
"When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!" -Psalm 142:3
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable." -Isaiah 40:28
"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." -Psalm 37:5
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." -Psalm 28:7
"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." -Psalm 50:15
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." -Matt 11:28
" Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." -Isaiah 43:2
"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?" -Jeremiah 32:27
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." -Is 26:3
"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." -John 16:33
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison," 2 Corinthians 4:17
"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" -Romans 8:32
"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand." -Psalm 37:23-24
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13