These past few weeks I have found myself wallowing in thoughts of the past, a feeling of self-pity has slowly started to seep its way into my psyche and a sense of failure has gripped me. Mainly a sense of failure that I am not living my life as God ordained me to live it.
One of the dictionary meanings of wallow is “to move about with difficulty” and that is where I have found myself – I have found it difficult to move and breath and love and care – about myself, about others, about God. I have found myself repeating the words found in the first chapter of Ecclesiastes “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”
I decided to see how Ecclesiastes ended and this is what the second last verse in the book has to say: “…here is the conclusion of the matter; fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”.
Jesus, Himself said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John13:34). Galatians 5:14 stresses this fact “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
How can we begin to love others if we do not feel love for ourselves? Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to die for us. How can we deny that love in our lives? How can we reject God’s love for us? What right do we have to waste His sacrifice and to wallow in feelings of defeat and hopelessness?
And then the biggest question for me “how can I confess to love God if I don’t feel love for myself?” And as I asked this question of myself I could see Satan in my mind’s eye, rolling around laughing, because once we start to go down the road of self-pity, once fear and failure has us in its grip, Satan has won the battle! We don’t need to be actively sinning or disobedient to God’s Word – we just need to feel a wee bit unworthy, a little bit despondent to become ineffectual in our Christian walk.
It is perfectly natural to feel depressed, unhappy, fearful – the problem arises when we allow those emotions to take root in our lives. Jeremiah 17:8 has this to say about a man or a woman who trusts in the Lord. That they will be blessed and
“…will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream. It will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to bear fruit”.
The tree endures all manner of hardships – thunder and lightning storms, wind, intense heat, animals digging around its roots and climbing in its branches – and yet, it stays firm because its roots go down deep into the soil.
If we love the Lord, we are that tree. We need to ensure that our roots are deeply embedded in Him and the only way to do this is by spending time with Him. Praying, reading the Bible, fellowshipping with other Believers, going for walks in nature, being quiet and waiting upon Him.
It won’t matter what befalls us or how strongly our lives are being tossed in the storm of life because we have the absolute assurance that we are rooted in God.
We need to put time aside to go for a walk, to do some spring cleaning in the house, to listen to praise and worship songs, to have a bubble bath, to pray, to read the Bible.
We need to get active. We need to count all our blessings. We need to confide in someone we can trust.
And if none of the above lifts our spirits we may need to seek medical help – which is absolutely fine!
So today that is exactly what I did. I went for a walk, had a bubble bath, cleaned out some cupboards, spent time listening to a worship CD, gave God a list of things I was grateful for, read Isaiah 30 (a good read) and sat on a park bench for a little while. Unfortunately, I ran out of time otherwise I would have weeded the garden as well!
I also found two quotes!
“A life of adventure is ours for the taking, whether we’re seven or seventy. Life for the most part is what we make it. We have been given a responsibility to live it fully, joyfully, completely, and richly, in whatever span of a time God grants us on this earth” – Luci Swindoll
“God is the one who calls me the Beloved, and I have a desire to express to others how I try to become more fully who I already am” – Henri Nouwen
I feel great!!