Do you ever feel stuck? Does it ever seem that things are completely out of control and you are being tossed to and fro by the circumstances of your life? Are you struggling to connect with God despite a deep desire to know Him more?
I can certainly answer a resounding YES to all of these questions during multiple periods of time in my life. I’ve wondered time and time again how it seems I am running the race well when suddenly I am hijacked. Rather than fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, I begin to fix my eyes on the circumstances of the day, or the things I don’t have which I desire, or the dissatisfaction of my life not going the way that I think I should. Can you relate?
Let’s be honest. The reality of this fallen, broken world in which we live is that we will regularly face disappointments, losses, betrayals, illnesses, and other things that are completely out of our control. In these moments, it is enormously helpful to identify what we are feeling: sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, guilt, shame. Leaning into the pain and asking God to meet us in this place provides an opportunity to grow, to know Him more, to understand His sovereignty, His goodness, faithfulness, and love in a new and perhaps deeper way. It is an absolute necessity to allow ourselves time and space to grieve, to work through deep wounding, and to FEEL the emotions that God has given us. In her book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown talks about the beauty of discomfort and the truth that when we allow ourselves to feel our discomfort and sit in our pain, we are giving ourselves an amazing opportunity to grow emotionally and spiritually.
And, as with all things in life, there must be a balance.
Feelings are like children. You don’t want them to drive the car, but you don’t want to stuff them in the trunk either.
One day recently, I realized my feelings were driving the car. I felt angry, resentful, and abandoned. I believed wholeheartedly that God is faithful, never changing, good, merciful, a mighty fortress, my rock, provider, and redeemer, AND, I felt like I was drowning. As I was journaling and praying, the truth hit me like a truck.
I had lost sight of Jesus.
Like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus in the midst of the tumultuous winds and waves, I was sinking because I lost sight of Jesus.
Jesus Help Me!!
“Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him and said to Him, ‘You have so little faith. Why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31).”
The minute I cried out to Jesus, I felt the tremendous peace for which I had been so desperate. I found myself in the arms of Jesus.
I began to wonder. Why do I have so little faith? Why do I doubt? How do I so easily lose sight of Jesus? I know who He is. I know what I believe. How is it that I so quickly fix my eyes on the wind and the waves when Jesus is standing right there??”
“Your adversary [opponent, enemy], the devil, prowls around [to make use of any
opportunities] seeking [meditating, reasoning] someone to devour [to drink down, to swallow up, to destroy]” (1 Peter 5:8).
Y’all. We have an ENEMY. And he IS seeking to devour us. He isn’t like some little red devil with a pitchfork sitting on our shoulders whispering that we should do what’s contrary to what we know is right. He isn’t a gentlemen. He is a ROARING LION.
Look at the verse immediately preceding this one.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit.”
I find it interesting, and not at all a coincidence, that a verse about giving God our anxieties and having a calm, collected, temperate spirit, sets up this warning about our enemy. When we are living from a place of fear and letting our anxieties and fears control us, we are opening ourselves up to an attack from the enemy. He is seeking someone to devour, and we, in our anxious state, are the perfect target. Then, like a lion, he pounces. Attacking our thoughts, our marriages, our beliefs, our children — whispering lies in our ears.
“But resist him, firm in your faith …”
There is power in the name of Jesus. He is stronger and greater than anything that our enemy throws at us. Just yesterday, I found myself starting to drown. The circumstances were closing in. I cried out, “In the name of Jesus, I pray for peace. I pray for protection over me and my children. I pray against the enemy and any attempt he is making to come against us and devour us right now.”
Unexplainable peace came right in the middle of pain,
chaos, and confusion.
Let’s not forget that we have an enemy. Let’s also not forget that our God is greater.
“Be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power. Put
on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against
all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-
and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the
unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and
against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
The fight is not against our husbands/wives, our children, a diagnosis, or our circumstances, whatever they may be. The fight is against our enemy in this fallen and sinful world in which we live.
“The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Friends, cry out to Him today.