It was a bad day.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and the feeling haunted me all day long. It seemed any tiny annoyance was gargantuan in my head and the low fuel light coming on in my car was justifiable cause for a mental breakdown.
I know better. I know a fuel light should not send me over the edge, but knowing the Truth and having my heart believe it can feel impossible.
Then the guilty self-talk started, “There’s no reason I should feel this way. I have so much to be thankful for!” Well, that didn’t help.
I did feel that way regardless of my reasoning.
So what was I going to do about it?
I was going to force myself to feel better, by golly.
I decided I’d better go down my check list for “How to make myself feel better.”
Pray about it. Check.
Put on upbeat music. Check.
Talk it out with someone. Check.
Read my bible. Check.
Eat chocolate. Check.
Count my blessings. Check.
Try to pinpoint why I was feeling all of these FEELINGS.
No answer. No real relief.
I grit my teeth and decide to just get through the day.
Toward the end of the grueling day my phone alerts me to posts from two authors I’ve grown to love over the last couple of years.
I realize God’s provision…a small window of hope comes through…
Jennifer Dukes Lee writes,
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26
God is with you, and He is in you. He comes to work with you every day, not only to equip you for your tasks, but to help you when you get stuck.
God is the great un-sticker of stuck work. And one of the ways he does that is by praying for you. God sees your clenched jaw, hears your guttural sigh, and responds to your meager, “Help me out here, God, because I don’t know what to do.”
Paul tells us that something mysterious happens when we are in need but don’t know what to pray.
“The Spirit himself intercedes for us.”
And the other timely post by Emily Freeman:
“I am guilty of managing my experience of difficulty so my struggles don’t feel wasted. In this action, I fear I’ve missed sacred times of healing in the darkness because I’ve wanted to rush ahead to the more understandable light. I have bullet-pointed my soul so that things make sense and have regarded God only as my teacher, forgetting he is also my friend.
School is good and necessary, but in my heart I long for home.
The words of Paul come to mind as I remember he didn’t say “To live is to become Christ-like.”
It sounds almost right, but it’s completely wrong.
Instead, he said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
To live is a person, Christ himself.
God used my inbox, other people’s stories, to remind me of what I learned from my 2014 word, “Rest.” He’s showing me just because the year of my word is over on the calendar, it does not mean I have mastered the skill. Resting in God will be a continual unfolding of applying and growing until I’ve finished this race on earth.
So I lowered my shoulders, unclenched my jaw, took a few deep breaths and rested with Jesus. He is not expecting perfection from me. He just wants me.
And you know what? New mercies arrived the very next morning. Praise God. He always provides.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:23-25