There are no words that describe just how this crisis feels. It is filled with moments of absolute joy for the growth that is gained. And yet it is filled with the constant knowledge that life is forever changed in ways that hurt. It is filled with the quiet moments of solace where for once in a lifetime of yearning you feel that things are going to be okay. It is filled with the quiet moments when the world seeks to crush the life from your chest. It is filled with memories of what you once had with someone, memories that bring you to tears, memories that make you smile, and memories that fan the flames of anger and rage. It is a ride like no other, at times a quiet glide down a soft stream, and at others a house of horror from which you feel no escape. Every day that goes by, every activity that you do, every moment that you walk through in the day reminds you that things are not the same and no apology, no flowers or candy, and no heart felt card can make up for. Life for me is a constant process of processing emotions, fears, and desire. It is exhausting, it is wearying to the soul, the mind and the body. Sounds like fun yes? I would be lying to you if I said that there are two times of the day that I have hardest time. Night time is by far the worst so far. Sleep is hard to come by, oh the body finds rest, but the human mind has a pause button. The morning is the second time when it is hard. Exhaustion of the mind doesn’t go away on a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t go away with medication because reality is always there. Reality never stops. Though you try as hard as you can, the world simply will not relent the pull it has on you. It is the devil, plain simple, evil, and destructive. Revelation describes him as a roaring lion seeking to devour you. His goal is simple, take away your ability to praise God in any situation. There is no reprieve in this mission. Just like there is no reprieve in my mission to glorify God in this circumstance. After all it is not my strength that in which I stand. It is the strength of God that holds me up, gives me the peace I seek, and provides for my every need.
The worries are there, make no mistake. I have no money, and yet the bills continue. I have a terrible job. I feel alone, I lack companionship with someone. I feel useless, and I feel cast aside. These are all real feelings. They weigh down on my mind, and they seek to fill my heart with jealousy and contempt for those who succeed around me. I work in the mall. I am 31 years old with two college degrees and I work in the mall. This is not what I had planned for this point in my life. I know it sounds like I am whining and in a way I am, but I am showing you honesty too. I sat down tonight and my prayer was that God teach me something as I type on this computer. I opened the Bible to a Psalm, not just any Psalm. My human brain calls it a coincidence, I call it a God thing that I opened to Psalm 31(, and 32 literally opened the Bible and there they were). These are both Psalms accredited to David. David was a heck of a guy. He was the youngest of Jesse’s boys. He was picked from among all the soldiers and warriors to be kind of Israel. He was a musician, I like him already. As a man he made many mistakes, the whole thing with Bathsheba being a major note of wrongdoing. Yet he was called a man after God’s own heart. I think, my current situation being a major factor, that these two Psalms really put that in perspective. After all the things this man went through in his life, he praised God. he praised God when people thought he was making a fool of himself. He praised God in the midst of major suffering, he praised God in the mundane. More than that, he cried out to God with his soul.
Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. Psalm 31:9-13
Not to harp on the situation but I know how this guy feels. It seems like life was pretty dismal at this point for David. I see the not so subtle reminders of the situation I am in everywhere I look. But David does something interesting in the next verse. He says, “I trust in You, O Lord…” He still trusts God. Even though every decision this man has made seems to be to the contrary, it is in these moments that David sees that God is to be trusted, God is to be sought, and God is to be praised. He finishes the Psalm with praises. There are no descriptions of victories, no tales or prose of how God crushed what was in front of him. It is a simple faith that God has a plan, and that God will do what God will do.
If you hadn’t gathered by now, my prophetic words in the previous chapter came true for me today. I did not have a good day. I feel fine about a lot of things, but I am not where I want to be yet. However as I write this I am learning something new and profound. God does not abandon His work. When I started this there was a promise when the healing began. The promise was that learning was going to take place, otherwise there would be no point in the healing. The next lesson is that you have to keep focus on what is true and what is at the root of everything. That is that God is indeed in control, He is doing something and He does not relent in His task. I may not be happy with circumstances, in fact I’m not. However, the circumstances of my life at this point are not my eternal reality. This after all is a season. It will pass. It has been a hard winter but spring comes still.
I can remember quite well in sixth grade when I broke my foot. I had to wear this huge boot of a cast because I had also partially torn a tendon. It didn’t take long for my foot to heal, but I still had to wear this big stupid boot until they were sure the tendon had healed too. I felt fine, I could put pressure on my foot, I could walk what was the problem. The problem was that while things felt okay, they weren’t where they were supposed to be just yet. Even after the boot came off there was still a good bit of soreness in my foot in places I didn’t think should have been sore. I guess after all I have been through I am in the same situation. I have healed much, much quicker than I ever thought possible. The subtle reminders that I see however should not serve to show me what the world’s reality is, but rather that I am still not done. There is still work to do. It’s frustrating, just like it was when I still had to wear that boot. I’m frustrated because I feel stagnant, kind of like somebody stuck in a hospital longer than they think they should be. The thing I need to see is that God knows what is best for me. If I step back and look at it, I am actually free from burdens I would seek. I am actually in a place that affords me the time to work through what is being done inside my heart and soul and mind. Things will change when they are supposed to give way. Doors will open when they are supposed to open. John Mayer has a pretty good song about it, well just this line. “I’m in repair, I’m not together but I’m getting there…” God has things in control. I keep hearing his voice quoting me from a long time ago saying, “you just let me do what it is that I do.” Okay God, You go before me, I will stay under your wing and wait, and I will praise. Let me close with David’s words. They do it so much more justice than mine.
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Psalm 32