It is so easy to get off kilter. It’s so easy to seem as if you’ve lost your foundation. This happened to me in the blink of an eye. I looked at all of the problems around me. All of the different religions and doctrine. I began to compare my life to the way the people around me live theirs. I began to wonder who’s right and who’s wrong. There are hundreds of different religions who all claim the be the “true religion.” Do I go left or right? I know there is only ONE way. I know there are false prophets. I know I’m told to examine myself to be sure I’m in the faith. But the problem was that in light of this I took my eyes off of Jesus and began to try and figure things out for myself and I immediately began to drown. I literally felt like I went from walking on water to drowning in the middle of the ocean. Jesus was there all along but it felt like he wasn’t. He’s never changed. He’s never left. How do I know? Because HE SAID he would never leave. But I allowed seeds of doubt to be planted. I began to look at those around me with skepticism as if the very people I love were trying to secretly coerce me into some secret society that would send me straight to hell. At this point I felt like I could no longer trust anyone. I began to believe that I have to work in order to have the potential of living forever in my God’s kingdom. And even then it still might not be good enough. Yes, I understand that there should be evidence of my faith which will manifest itself in works. But without the sacrifice of Jesus there is no hope. I know I can’t save myself. I wasn’t trying to but knowing that I’m forgiven by the blood of Christ I decided to live my life for him. I decided to live a life of thankfulness and obedience to my God Jehovah for his sacrifice knowing that it will all be worth it. Not to earn righteous credits but just because I sincerely desire to make him happy. But without the covering of his sacrifice I began to wonder what’s the point? Life outside of Christ is completely worthless because I know based on my own works I AM NOT good enough. The doom of that began to sink in. Then thoughts of suicide randomly started running through my head. Where the heck did that come from? Isolation and doubt is not a good place to be. That literally shook me. This is when I realized it was time to PRAY.
How was I so easily shaken? I know now. I took my eyes off of Jesus. I began to focus my attention on the things I didn’t know forgetting about the things I did know. I somehow fooled myself into thinking that I can figure everything out on my own. One of my favorite scriptures is Hebrews 12:1-3:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endures from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Lay aside every weight. I didn’t do that. Look to Jesus. Nope didn’t do that either. I found myself spinning in a world of confusion unsure of everything asking how in the world I got to this place.
So after two weeks of feeling completely heavy and weighed down -feeling so hopeless – for the first time I decided to listen to some worship. The first song I heard was Praise the Mighty Name of Jesus by Jocelyn Brown. The first verse says:
My troubled soul, why so weighed down? You were not made to bear this heavy load.
Cast all your burdens upon the Lord. Jesus cares, he cares for you.
Jesus cares, he cares for you. And all your worrying Won’t help you make it through.
Cast all your burdens upon the Lord. And trust again in the promise of his love.
Just that fast I immediately began to cry. This time it was a different cry. It was more of a cry of relief like I felt a weight being lifted. Cast all my burdens on the Lord and trust in his love. That’s all I have to do. This was it. This was God answering my spoken and unspoken prayers. Even through the doubt of me thinking he wasn’t listening because sometimes all I could do was just sit there and cry not even having the strength to pray, he was listening. He heard every cry. I’m so thankful to God that he will make straight my path and all I have to do is seek him because the burden of trying to find my own way and figure everything out is TOO much to bear. I had to write this down because this is an answered prayer. I don’t have all of the answers to my questions. I don’t have everything figured out. But what I do have is peace (Philippians 4:6,7). Having all the knowledge of God (not that I ever could) means nothing without having the peace of God! If all else fails, I will “Be strong in the Lord and his mighty power” and “hold fast to the confession of my hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” I’m thankful that He’s brought peace and reminded me to trust him. Once again He’s proved that He’s never left and that above all else I should seek Him instead of just seeking answers. To find him is to find the answers…to the ones that matter.
My take away so far…
1) Test the spirit by the spirit. Everything I take in should be lined up with the word of God and backed up with prayer!
2) Never stop praying. Pray over everything!!
3) Pray for wisdom and don’t try to figure things out expecting immediate understanding.
4) Don’t’ isolate. Open up and talk to other believers. This is a hard one for me. But it’s been so encouraging getting those random text messages from those I’ve opened up to saying they are just checking on me and praying for me. I’m thankful for those who are praying for my family.
5) Reflect on God’s love and his promises. It’s so easy to forget how faithful He is and always will be. The Psalms are always a great place to restart.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever!