Thursday, May 22, 2008

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

Why do I feel so much like a trapped animal? A porcupine, to be exact, throwing up my quills at everything that approaches my corner. I am frustrated and despairing of just about everything and everyone.

How long will you hide your face from me?

I am frustrated with living my life under a microscope, with every decision subject to commentary. I am frustrated with the halted forward momentum regarding the sale of our real estate. I am more frustrated with my own inability to brush it off as just the way it is, and my need to continually analyze my heart, in case the lost momentum comes as a result of something I did or am still doing. What am I missing?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?

I feel like my faith is slipping away; faith that God is working my life out according to my best interests, faith that my best interests are remotely related to my dreams and plans. More strongly, I feel like my life is slipping away. I want more children, but don't feel this is a good time to start a new baby project. I want to reach out and minister to others, but don't feel I have a space (physical or intellectual) to minister from. I am left feeling like a complainer, that all I can focus on is the bad parts of my situation. I don't think there are many out there who could weather this transition with any better grace, but that doesn't make living through it any easier.

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

God promises in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that he will not give us more than we can bear. Or more accurately, more temptation than we can bear. There is always a way out. But I am feeling very tempted right now to crumble under the pressure. Was there ever a moment in your childhood when you were tempted to do something wrong, but you resisted the temptation ALMOST until someone came along to find you having given in a minute too early? Or have you ever watched a sporting event that lasted ten seconds too long for the team that ended up losing? I grow afraid that I will not be able to make it to the end of this test without giving in to the crazy person in the back of my head.

Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.

I can barely hold myself together these days. One moment I am able to speak reassuringly to a friend, the next I am swimming in self-pity. I tremble with an anxiety I cannot shake, my stomach knots with dread and dislike of my situation. I have not felt God so detached from me in years. Usually, when I call on him and bring my focus back to his way of thinking, he reveals himself to me and births in me a fresh start. But while I call out, he seems to remain distant.

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

I know I need to just be okay with the situation, however one goes about doing that. God never promises to fix my earthly problems, only to be with me through them and to fix my perception of my problems. But it rings a little trite when I think I am missing that part where he walks with me.

My enemy will say, “I have overcome him”

There is a jagged dark streak across my heart that remains through the ups and downs of this amazing year of living in the country. I can feel it, I can point to it. The darkness hurts, every time I draw a breath. Is that what this season is about, coming to terms with my inborn melancholy predisposition? Learning to accept it? That feels strangely like losing myself, admitting the lighthearted girl my husband married is slowly being extinguished. If that is true, then it seems the enemy has indeed overcome me, and I am lost.

My foes will rejoice when I fall.

What better target for the enemy is there, than to try to get a confident Christ-follower to give up in discouragement? I don't want to fall! I fight against the enemy all the time, but I am weary. I need the Lord to do the fighting, but I am really struggling to believe God is doing anything more than watching me learn some life lessons on my own. Lord, please let the storm end before my ability to withstand it blows away in the wind!

But I trust in your unfailing love

Ah, yes, here we come to the part where the psalmist declares his confidence that God will come through. How did he come to be able to say this? But I notice he does not tritely express a belief that God will fix all his problems. I suppose in my deepest heart, I do carry an essential belief that God loves me. No matter what else may happen.

My heart rejoices in your salvation.

God's salvation is being saved from myself, from my wretched human condition, by something greater than myself. Thank God that such a thing is available to me, and that I have found it. Even when I question everything else about my life, I still believe that Jesus is the way of salvation and I have staked my life on that salvation. So I declare that yes, my heart does rejoice in the salvation I have.

I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

And he has. My life has its share of turbulence, but overall it is a good life that I would not trade with anyone. Most of the offenses against me are in my own head. Still hard to swallow sometimes, and still legitimately attacks of the enemy, but it could be so much worse.

While those words are true, they are hard to say when I want to wallow in feeling sorry for myself. And when I am tired and feeling isolated. Or perpetually unbalanced. Yet what else can I do? My life is built on this belief, to say otherwise is to unravel the very fabric of my spirit.

Oh God, please hear these words, spoken not from warm and fuzzy feelings but from the desperate aching wilderness of my heart. You are who you are, no matter how I feel about it. Bless me, I beg you, for declaring my belief in you anyway. Give me the strength to resist the enemy all the way to the end of the test, so you can be glorified. Overcome my enemy so he cannot rejoice over me. Move mightily in my situation, absolutely, but more than that, renew my weary heart. Thank you for the hope of each new day, that this might be the day where the movement will begin again.

1 comment:

  1. O.K.--first of all, the reason why I may have more comments on my blog (even though I'm not sure that's true) is because it's a lot easier for someone to comment on a picture of a cute puppy than on the condition of one's soul.

    Second, wow. You are so articulate. But even still, I'm sure your last entry is only touching the surface of all of the emotional and spiritual turmoil that you've had in the past year. I don't want this to sound like I really understand your situation, because I don't. I feel like I'm only beginning to know you, but I'm truly looking forward to many years of meaningful and awesome friendship. So, let this be the beginning of it.....

    It seems like you may be suffering-emotionally, spiritually, etc. But I would like to lovingly remind you of "the outsider's perspective" on your life....

    You are a thin, healthy, beautiful and talented woman, who is saved by God's grace and therefore, destined to live eternally with Jesus. You have two beautiful, healthy, ALIVE children. You have a man who loves you deeply, who seems to be caring, godly, fun and laid back. You live in a beautiful home, which meets your every physical need, surrounded by God's serene, awesome creation. You are serving in a rockin' church, where God is moving and changing lives on a regular basis....a church filled with women just waiting to be your new best friends.

    That is how your life looks from the outside. I know looks can be deceiving, but so can the enemy. Just wanted to share another perspective--it is meant to be encouraging. We will continue to pray for your house. :)


Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing from you.