Sometimes, life just really stinks. I’ve had one of those weeks. I usually don’t blog about it, but I just kinda need to put it out there. Plus, I feel like the Lord is trying to use some of these situations (yes, there have been multiple) to try to refine my character, and so sometimes it helps to articulate some things.
Without going into detail, I’ve had quite the string going lately where I’ve put my foot in my mouth pretty severely, or I’ve messed up. You know, those times when you ask yourself, “Why did I do that?” or “Why didn’t I do it this way instead?” There’s also those times when maybe it wasn’t completely something you did, but a terrible situation came about anyway, involving you, so you still feel pretty rotten about yourself. I’ve been sitting there on and off for a couple weeks now. One thing has led to another. I haven't been able to get a break yet.
So, instead of continuing to wallow in my own self pity (believe me, I’ve done enough of that for all of you in the last few days, and still am fighting it), I’m trying to learn from it. I’ve been convicted of and taught several things. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it all since I’m still working through it all.
The first thing is my tongue. This little bitty body part has always gotten me in trouble, and it has just had a mind of its own lately. Perhaps I’ve let my guard down. Perhaps I thought I had improved enough that I didn’t need to constantly be cautious. Whatever the cause, let’s just say, I am definitely not controlling my tongue. It’s so interesting, because James talks about how we can control wild animals, but we can’t contain the tongue. How our whole being is steered like a boat is steered by a rudder with our tongues. I know all these things, and also know James says it shouldn’t be that way, but I have been miserably failing in this area. Hurting people, hurting myself, and just hurting. So I’m working on it. James chapter three and me have had some serious quality time and are continuing to have some more until we know each other inside and out. And until then, I continue to pray for my tongue, and pray for those people that tend to draw the worst of my words out of me.
Second of all, due to the complete disaster area I have been wrecking with my tongue and with my lack of thought before my actions, I’ve been feeling really lousy. Like a lousy human being. Just sinful. Unworthy. Unloved. Unliked. You name it, I’ve felt it. Again, terrible. This time, it wasn’t a scripture passage, but a song, derived from scripture, that brought about a bit of peace. It’s a song by Shane and Shane called “Embracing Accusation”. (Seriously worth checking out here.) It talks about how Satan talks to us, how he tells us, even using scripture, that cursed are those of us that don’t abide. That I have sinned and gone astray, that I cannot gain salvation, that the penalty of that sin is death, and that death is mine. This is not about doubting my salvation, but about Satan reminding me of my sin, of the weight of it, and making me feel so unworthy that I am paralyzed in my faith and self-focused. Yet, through this song, I am reminded that these words that Satan is speaking about my unworthiness and being unlovable are all true. Yet, he has conveniently only been saying the first verse of that age old song, leaving out the refrain. What’s the refrain? Jesus saves. He saves, you guys! He sees my sin and self-pity and my sadness and my stupid actions and hurtful words – he sees all of it. In spite of all of that, he saves.
And the third thing, oh yes, there are three things. I’m telling ya, this has been quite a week and a half, and then some leading up to it. My mind. My mind is such a constant battlefield. And I’ve seen how it is also a battlefield for so many people. A sweet friend of mine was being encouraging recently and shared with me how a verse that I have been praying for myself for so long was a verse she has also prayed – but over other people. Why hadn’t I thought of that? The verse is from 2 Corinthians 10:5 where we are commanded to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” So for those people that I have hurt, whether intentionally or not, and those that have hurt me, Satan is assuredly trying to get them to dwell on that hurt, to get them to assume the worst, to bring in doubt, fear, anger, etc. etc. And again, bringing about that constant reminder in my mind of my mistakes, my crummy situation, and telling me I’m not loved. But those are thoughts that I have not made obedient to Christ. And what an encouragement to know that scripture itself commands us to do that – recognizing the challenge as significant – taking something captive isn’t usually an easy chore. It requires a game plan, lots of effort, and sometimes more than one shot. But I can pray over this verse, and I can pray it over those that are also hurting, and I can experience some peace in knowing that if they are making their thoughts obedient to our Lord, then everything will be fine.
Those are some of the things that have been swirling in my head and heart, especially the last few days. (That and the big fat headache I’ve been dealing with for a couple days – gee – I wonder why? Ha.) It’s been so overwhelming that I haven’t even really been able to articulate it or talk about it. It’s just so much and so heavy.
I am thankful for my salvation, and for the love and peace that only comes through Jesus.