Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Every ounce of me wanted to go face-down in a bag of tortilla chips and eat my way out of the pit of failure I had fallen in. (It didn’t help that we recently purchased the tastiest tortilla chips I’ve eaten in a long time, and they were staring at me from the counter.)
Have you experienced days like this? Maybe you’ve trudged through weeks or months or possibly years like this. Hopelessness and despair creep into our lives. If we don’t recognize them quickly, they grab hold and rapidly pull us down. To escape, we’re liable to turn to outside sources. Shopping, drugs, and sleeping are all options. But some of us use . . . food. We think food will mask the pain and hurt. We think food will distract us from the real issues. And it may. Temporarily. But when we lift our head out of the proverbial sand (or in my case, bag of tortilla chips), our problems still exist.
I’m sure cleansing my body of impurities last week was Holy Spirit led. But God never promised a positive outcome. He never said, “Cleanse your body, walk an hour each day, ice every four hours, and I’ll wave my magic wand and heal you.” I desired it. I sought it. I hoped and prayed for a happy ending. But the pain still plagues me. No amount of tortilla chips (or lack thereof) will change that fact.
But my perspective can change. So, today, I am again throwing my hands up and surrendering. But not in defeat. I am surrendering to God and His will. “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2) “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (Psalm 61:1,4)
The truth is God never promised Christians would live a pain-free life. What he did say is, “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:20,33) God promises, “He (or She) will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:15,16)
Today, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I raise my glass of water in a toast with the Apostle Paul who wrote, “. . . if we are [God’s] children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:17-18) To God’s glory! Cheers!
How do you escape from life’s troubles?
What Scripture verse lifts your spirits?
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