Lately, it seems like everyone is being attacked. The world and, more specifically, the church is being shaken down to its core, it’s foundation. People are being forced into taking a side and standing firm in their decisions. Evil is rampant and no longer concealed within the confines of the shadows.
The deepest, darkest fears, sins, spiritual failings, and doubts are floating to the surface.
Quite honestly, I’m tired of the endless trials that I’m being bombarded with from within and without. When will the shaking cease and the dust finally settle? What will happen next before it does?
As I’m typing this, I can see my dying fish floating to the top of its tank after I painstakingly tried to save it from ick only a few days ago. Sadly, a few other fish are also acting odd and I don’t know what or if I can do anything. (This is after I finally was able to finish my tank—after several weeks of waiting on guppies to hit the market again).
This feeling hits me so often these days you would think I’d be numb to it by now. But no, you’d best believe I will do what I can to salvage and protect, even if it’s in vain.
Will I see the fruits of my own efforts? Probably not. I haven’t exactly “done” life with God lately at the helm. I feel often like someone has unplugged me from the source…that “someone” is me of course, but I can’t seem to find the outlet again in the darkness.
I’ve had to choose God—quite possibly for the first time, without the “feeling” driving it. I’ve always wanted God in my life, always loved Jesus, always wanted to please Him more than anything or anyone else.
I know I still want those things, but life has hit us so hard that I’m just kind of numb to those wants right now. I set expectations on God that I shouldn’t have set (just like in marriage sometimes). I’ve doubted God for the first time, not His existence, but His Character…His willingness. An equally idiotic notion on my part, I know, but here we are.
It’s like I’m lost on the battlefield, shooting and running, unable to clearly see my Commander in the chaos. And man is it chaos!
Between the pandemic, the evil political agendas surrounding it, our presidential failure, the ensuing bloodbath in our country and in the world (some are still in the making), the constant lies and fear-mongering media, the stirring of hatred between races/genders/religions/classes/and parties, the death and depression hanging on everyone, and our own personal battles in the midst of it (being a new mother to a willful boy, health issues, relationship and financial struggles)…..
….yeah, I’m pretty spent. And feeling a lot like my floating fish, gasping for air.
I’m constantly chasing that breath of relief in between the chaos. Surviving but not exactly thriving….is this where the devil wants me? Does he think that if he keeps knocking my legs out from under me that I’ll never really stand up?
Aaron and I have made two conscious decisions amidst our shared feelings. One is that we would be more social at our church. Like make an effort to get to know others and be friends, join groups, etc.
For the past several years we’ve typically remained close to only a handful of people and haven’t exactly went out of our way to invite people over or anything. It’s been difficult for us as introverts to really branch out more. But now we see that we were just being selfish and really robbing ourselves and others of so much more.
In other words, now more than ever—-we all need each other. The church “body” must be a body again. We experience the love of God and meet our needs for connection only through each other.
This is huge for me considering that the reason I felt unloved by God was because I was denying His love that could’ve been mine if I had only reached out to my church family. They are a conduit in which His love reaches us!
Depression is really a demonic hold in that it tries to pull you away from what could heal you; friends and family.
Second, was that we had to make a decision. We had to count the costs of that decision or lack thereof. And that is, “will we continue believing what we believe despite what we see or feel?”
For once in my life, I choose God unconditionally, and to believe He is Good apart from what my eyes have seen, apart from what I feel, and apart from what I have yet to believe. Or perhaps, I do believe but it is without faith.
Nevertheless, I openly stand on what I know to be right, not easy. I see now that the Christian walk is not easy, that it paints a target on your back for every kind of spiritual attack…but I didn’t choose this path because it was easy, only because it was right.
God is God. I am not. This world is broken and evil. I must stand apart from it. I am not here to live for happiness. But to serve and grow and overcome. I do not live for myself but for others. I refuse to live this life for myself because it will only end in destruction and an eternal death. I seek eternal life.
I live for love. I stand for love. And maybe, someday I’ll die for love.
Maybe…it isn’t that everything is chaotic but finally clear. Maybe this is what it’s like when the dust has actually settled and we see things for what they are. The good and the bad and even the floating fish in our spiritual tanks.
What side will you choose to stand on? Come hell or high water, what do you believe?
“Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Note: Even when I am not.