It’s hard to not feel like sometimes everything is crumbling away in our lives. Our problems run the gamut. It can be something physical, like a persistent or even terminal illness that invades our lives. It can be material needs escaping us. More often than not, however, it is a result of interactions with other people, or other situations that cause us great emotional turmoil. These are the things that tend to erode our sense of well-being the most.
The complexity of human emotion produces a wide range of reactions and results when dealing not only with others, but even with ourselves. Many times we are are own worst critic. While we can often be blind to our own shortcomings, usually that’s only what we are showing others on the outside. Deep down, we know our challenges, our weaknesses, but so does someone else.
There is a great deceiver that lurks in the shadows of your heart. He is patient, calculating, and seizes opportunities to inject doubt, fear, anger, and a range of other negative emotions. This Casting Crowns song captures it so very well:
He’s going to look for those moments when you are at your weakest, and then strike like the serpent he is. His goal? Ensure you go deeper into your deflated state, and fall further away from God’s voice.
I most recently have been going through a dark period, especially at work. I allowed myself to be drawn deeper into the pit of despair, not realizing what I was allowing to be done to myself.
Last night, I took my usual ride on my motorcycle, down beautiful, tree-lined, curve-filled roads. As I dove into a turn, I turned to prayer. Deep, resounding prayer. This wasn’t even mainly a prayer for myself so much as it was for my family. I needed to have a spark in my step again, and regardless of all of the mishaps and torment I may be experiencing at work, I knew that I had to keep my head held high and find new life in a job that feels rather lifeless right now. My prayer was that the Holy Spirit would fill me with the energy needed to carry on, and to rise above my own pride, arrogance, and entitled nature, and to simply do what it take to provide for my family.
This morning that prayer was answered. Nothing had changed. Things at work were exactly the same; the same people, problems, and situations. What did miraculously change was how I felt about all of it. I felt enabled again to do my best, and let that be enough. The Lurking Liar would not be the winner this day.
If we turn to Christ Jesus, in earnest prayer, he can pull us into the light, and out of the darkness that we’ve allowed to invade our hearts. He has done it time and time again for me, and I feel so very blessed to be His child. So lift up your Sword of the Spirit, raise your Shield of Faith, and live renewed in Him!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.