(I'm not one for hokey Jesus pictures, but today I needed to see this one. )
Most of the time I write about my struggles in general terms, in the hopes and prayers that others will find it relatable and ultimately encouraging. But remove those expectations because this may be a post of a different kind.
Today I'm having one of those dark days. If you've never experienced one, seriously, just stop reading. If you have, you know how low you can feel. My version today was a deadly concoction of depression, sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration, weariness, disappointment and downright melancholy. Brutal and ruthless, my "flesh" was on this war path against my "spirit." It may or may not have been a legitimate attack of the Thief (as I officially now call the Cretan, the father of all lies), but whether it was my flesh or the enemy, I still felt...well, crappy (for lack of a better term). My spirit was putting up a good fight, countering negativity with truth like, "God is good." Yes, I know that, spirit. "HE has not abandoned you." Yes, I know that too. I'm supposed to be this ever-rejoicing Christian, Lord. But somehow it didn't matter to my flesh who just continued bemoaning, and my bag of spiritual tricks was failing.
It's raining today. I could've kissed God for at least allowing the weather to match my sentiments. I don't think I would've handled a sunshiny day very well. I sat outside and smelled it for a while, that wet earth in a place where those scents are rare. It was oddly comforting being reminded that falling water can elicit an aroma from dust. I am dust. Maybe all of these tears competing in a race down my face are doing something like the rain. Unlikely, I think.
Anyway, these tears are different than others. They seem to be coming from somewhere deeper as though the proverbial dam had burst despite all my handy patchwork of each and every hole. Maybe I should "phone a friend," dismissing that though as quickly as it came. "There's too much water and my filters need to be changed before I could do that." What else is there to do but talk to the only One who can do something with this Mess? "But if I talk to Him, He's just going to make me feel better and I think I'm rooting for my flesh this time." Misery and Agony are starting to get cozy. The Spirit starts to whisper things to my weary soul (Hey, when did I invite Him to this party?), "He gives power to the faint, and to Him who has no might He increases strength" and "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." But, I don't want to spend time with you, Lord, or did you miss that? Just leave me be. Although if you had an urge to let me fast-forward past all of this gruesomeness, I'd be much obliged. Yes, I said, much obliged...smh. I mean, even Paul who knew it was better to stay rather than to depart and be with You felt that way because he had purpose, like You were using Him to actually affect people. You shut yet ANOTHER door yesterday where I could have impacted lives for Your Kingdom. This hallway that I'm standing in grows darker by the day with all that You've closed recently. I guess You just don't want to use me, and if that's the case, which I would COMPLETELY understand (I mean, listen to me), just take me home to you. I'll make a fantastic heavenly Janitor. I'll even whistle while I work. But at least I'll be free.
Fine, I'll read, but I'm not going to like it, and it's not going to apply anyway.
"he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him." Daniel 2:22
Huh. I am most definitely in a dark place. Yeah, and You are Light. Uh-oh, there's some cross-references.
"[He] declares to man what is his thought,
[he]makes the morning darkness." Amos 4:13
Why would you make the morning darkness, if You're the Light? Aren't you all about bringing Light TO darkness? Maybe you reveal these deep hidden things when I am in darkness by your Light?
"He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings deep darkness to light." Job 12:22
So apparently You can do both things since You're the Creator of both light and darkness. You're trying to show me something in this dark place that I'm in, aren't You? Something that can only be seen by Your light? I can't deal with that stuff unless you show me, Lord.
Enough of this, I'm just going to return to my regularly scheduled Bible reading, it's not like He could have any more to say.
"You have kept count of my tossings,
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?...
You have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life." Psalm 56:8, 13
WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. You're telling me you keep these tears? You actually store them in a bottle and record them in a book??? Why? Why would you do that? You would deliver me so that I can walk in the LIGHT? Like this is actually why you have delivered me? So that I would no longer walk around in darkness?
I don't know, Lord. I'll admit You are certainly striking a chord here. Okay, just one more.
"With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me,
You know my way!...
There is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O LORD;
I say, 'You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.'
Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!....
Bring me out of prison
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me." Psalm 142
FOR. YOU. WILL. DEAL. BOUNTIFULLY. WITH. ME. David wrote this while he was where? IN A CAVE.
Okay, Lord, okay. I get it. You SEE me. You GET me. You KNOW me. And you know what you did for me today? You CARRIED me. Even in this dark pit, Shepherd, You picked me up like this helpless lamb and held me close as I was trembling.
I think I'll stay here and make my home here with You, Refuge. No one ever cared for me like Jesus.
Brittany Van Ryn
Working out thoughts with HIM.