Sitting here with a heart so full of emotions. Emotions past, present, and even future.
Struggling. Struggling to see and hear clearly. See the path the Lord has for me. Hear His voice.
Struggling to surrender. Surrender those emotions from the past. Past decisions. Past pain and suffering. My pain and my children’s. Even my sweet husband’s.
Surrender the fears and unknowns regarding decisions that need to be made in the near future. Surrender the consequences of disobedience and yes, even obedience.
Depressed, over-worked dad. Exhausted, angry mom. Stressed, frustrated kids. Mixed-up priorities. Good things crowding out best things. Time to make some changes, but I’m struggling.
Struggling to surrender feelings of pride, fear, control, inadequacy – all of which paralyze me and cause me to procrastinate at best or refuse to move forward at worst.
Stuck somewhere in between, I get stagnant. When I imagine stagnant water I picture water that is dark, murky. Water from which no light is being reflected. Water that is motionless. It has remained still with no life moving around inside it which has, over time, caused a film to cover it.
A film like the one that covers my eyes, clouding my vision, preventing me from seeing all God has for me. For a while, I lose sight of what I know to be true about Him from His Word. I become temporarily blinded to the truth that He is working behind the scenes, in and through my circumstances to accomplish His will and to conform me to the image of Christ! He does have a plan!
By not staying focused on that truth I will develop a pattern of reacting with resentment to the interruptions and inconveniences in my life instead of responding to them as opportunities. Opportunities for Him to grow me, teach me, draw me closer to Himself, bless me, bless others, accomplish His will and plan… not mine.
I stop looking at certain people and situations in my life as blessings and gifts. I miss the big picture, failing to see them as tools in the hands of God to chisel me into His likeness. Through my distorted vision I can, instead, view them as instruments of Satan sent to torture me and cause me all manner of grief! This outlook blurs my perspective and robs my joy.
The film that covers my heart is tougher than the one that covers my eyes. It’s thicker, acting as a double-sided barrier. It keeps feelings I don’t want to feel from penetrating the few soft spots remaining in my heart, while at the same time, prevents certain emotions that I have carefully kept buried, and the memories attached to them, from rising to the surface.
When I am stagnant, the light within me, which is Jesus, is not being reflected as brightly as it could be. All the while I allow people, circumstances, and emotions to immobilize me. I shut down. Meanwhile, there is no life stirring around inside my heart, moving me forward.
No movement inside or out equals no life. No joy.
But wait! His living inside me is my joy. I must protect and nurture this joy. From it comes my strength to move! Doesn’t it take strength to move? His Word says the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). So by delighting and abiding in Him every day, I’ll have strength. The strength I need to press on, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward to what is ahead.”
Are frustrations, fears, and feelings hindering you from moving forward today? Saturate your mind in the living Word of God so your heart will know that paralyzing circumstances and emotions will come and go. Feelings are not to be trusted. Only the Word of God is sure, steadfast, unchanging, life-giving!
There is life moving inside the Word! Jesus is there. (He is the Word.) It is alive. It will move you!
Philippians 3:13-14 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.