When Life Sucks
Ok- so, I had a pretty crappy couple of days last week. Everything kinda seemed like it was falling apart, including my marriage! I did what I tell all of you to do- I got away. I went to our condo and chilled out for a few days. I worked on my new YA book that has been stumping me for weeks. And I'm proud to say that there was a major breakthrough with the book. No more writers block! YAY! Any way, my week still sucked in spite of that victory. So, I actually loafed around for four days without really praying or doing the things that I know I should do in order to get my mind back in the right place.
Have you ever been there before? In that place of -bla-? Nothing really makes you happy and you don't even have the mental strength or desire to pray about it. Honestly, I sat around feeling sorry for myself, listening to music that only added to the dred and shed a few tears. I hate when I let a "moment" become a week. I know what to do, but don't always do it. I know I should pray and seek God, I know I should cast my cares, I know I should just suck it up, because what do I really have to be sad about anyway? But we've all done it, am I right? We get off in our feelings and they almost drown us!
While I was away, I spent a lot of time on the back patio in the woods. It's very quiet. I absolutely love it. While soaking up the cloudy day, I noticed a copperhead snake curled up just a few feet away from my chair. At first I thought it must be a toy, but after a closer look, I realized that it was indeed real. I freaked out a little and tried to throw a few rocks at it to see if I could just get it to leave the patio. No dice. It wouldn't budge. For the rest of the day, my eyes continued to be drawn to it. Everytime I stepped outside I made sure to keep a close look at it the entire time.
The next morning when I stepped out, the snake was gone. You would think that I would be happy, but I wasn't. Now I was looking around every inch of the patio expecting it to jump out at me on every turn. As I sat, my eyes darting around at each rustle of the leaves, I feel like God spoke something into my spirit. You see, as long as I could see the snake, I was aware of the danger. I knew to stay clear from the area around it. It's the same way with our weaknesses. When we struggle in an area or areas, it's a lot easier to not fall in them if we are aware of the danger. When we know what makes us fall we keep our eyes on it. We guard our hearts and work to stay clear of the wreckage around it.
We don't need to magnify our weaknesses above the blood of Jesus, because He bought and paid for all of our shortcomings. But we also can't ignore them. I grew up in the "word of faith" circle where if you spoke about your problems then you were making a negative confession and just calling it in. I agree with part of that. We don't need to go around calling ourselves sinners or calling ourselves sick or broke or whatever negative confession wants to rule you, but we also can't ignore when we notice ourselves slipping in different areas. When you see a pattern begin to form you can step back and say- wow, I must have a problem with that-
People think christianity is all about getting it right all the time. That is the farthest from the truth I think. When you are a christian you have two wills at work fighting against each other at all the times. I think Paul describes it best---
Romans (7: 14-25) -So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15) I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16) But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17) So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18) And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19) I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20) But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21) I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22) I love God’s law with all my heart. 23) But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24) Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25) Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Wow, that pretty plain. Paul himself struggled with weak areas in his life. The same Paul who wrote a large portion of the new testament. Do you think you are above him? I know I am not. I love how he gives us the answer in the end. It's Jesus Christ! So, even if I'm having a crappy day or week or even month, I always know where my answer is found. Even when I don't feel like I deserve it, He still loves me. A good friend of mine has opened my eyes to how God loves us even in our sin and weakness when we bring it to Him. As for me, I discover how much more I need Him in those dark times. I can't do life without Him.
I just want to encourage you today to embrace your sad days, embrace your weaknesses and know that God is bigger than all of them. He never expects us to be perfect. He sent someone who already is in your place. So, when you are sucking at life, just turn to Him and expose the mess that you are. Give Him all the dirty and let Him love you in spite of you!