Last Saturday night at church, I felt weary and burdened. I lamented to the Lord during worship about two ongoing struggles that had become worse in the past few weeks. As He does so well, He answered with questions…questions for which He knew that *I* already had the answers.
The first struggle was weight. Even when I watched what I ate and exercised regularly, I did not lose weight. Discouraged, I started eating whatever felt like eating. I whined, “I just don’t understand, I’m so discouraged! I don’t know what to do. I just don’t care!”
"Did you ask Me for help? Did you ask Me for grace?”
BIG sigh as a huge weight (pun intended) lifted off my shoulders. No, I had not asked the Lord for help. I had not asked Him about what I should be eating. I had not involved Him at all ever since the Daniel Fast last summer. When discipline didn't produce results, I just started to eat whatever I felt like eating.
The second struggle is apathy about writing. I know I need to be writing more, and the Lord regularly shows me wonderful lessons and principles to share. Again, I whined, “I don’t know why I’m not making time to write. I get so easily distracted with other things. And I’m tired at the end of the day so I don’t feel like writing. It just feels like such a burden!”
“What is the topic of the book you’re working on now?”
Double duh! Of course I’d feel tired, of course I’d feel apathetic, of course I’d be thinking of a million other things I could be doing. The enemy planted all types of suggestions and negative thoughts in my head...and I ran with them. He blanketed me with slime that made me feel yucky…and I followed those feelings into apathy.
It’s so frustrating and humbling when this happens. I know that I know that I know that feelings cannot be trusted. I even have a slogan written on my board at the office that says, “control your feelings, don’t let them control you”. And yet that’s exactly what I had been doing: letting my feelings dictate my actions.
A verse from one of my favorite Petra songs, “Just Reach Out”, declares,
You say you've walked ten thousand steps away.
But don't you know that it's only one step back?
Because the One who hears you when you pray
Is the One who's there beside you
And He'll never walk away
And that one step is to simply turn around, back to God, regardless of how you feel.
So last Saturday night at church, I cried, I laughed, I apologized to the Lord for pridefully going my own way. I received His grace, His mercy, and His forgiveness.
And you know what? Now that I’m back to following Him and letting Him lead, I feel better than ever!
CHALLENGE QUESTION: In what area of your life have you strayed?