I read this today in a devotion I get, and it was so real. I will have comments below this. tell me, though, if you can relate to this like I sure can.
“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him
— then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.” Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (NIV)
You want to know one of the worst feelings in the world to me? Feeling stuck.
Stuck in a situation where I can’t see things getting better. I look at the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, and all I see are the same hard things being
repeated over and over and over.
I try to give myself a pep talk and tap into that part of me that chooses to see the bright side. But it isn’t there.
Life suddenly feels like it will be this way forever. Impossible. Hard. Beyond what I can bear. And a dark funk eclipses me. I want to see the light at
the end of the tunnel, so to speak. But what if I just feel hopelessly stuck in the very dark middle? The place where the end can’t be seen yet? And I
start wondering if it ever will.
This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when Ashley was born. I was thankful for these two amazing
gifts. I loved them very much.
But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor’s appointment or in conversations
with other mommies.
In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came.
This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Middle-of-the-night cries.
One night I went to the drug store. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the store and stared inside. There were normal
people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations.
I looked at the worn-out woman staring back at me from the rear-view mirror and cried, thinking, This is my life. Forever.
Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away. Far away.
Then guilt slammed into my fragile heart, and I cried until I could hardly breathe.
I often think about this when I find myself feeling stuck in difficult seasons. Those times when my mind teeters on the edge of that dark funk as my heart
tries to convince me my season of struggle will never end.
But then I remember that night crying in my car. Those days of diapers and no sleep weren’t forever. They were for a season.
It’s part of the rhythm of life. The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.
During one particularly hard season I closed my eyes and whispered, “Lord, what will fix this? What will take away this feeling that I’m going to be stuck
in seasons of darkness the rest of my life?”
Three words popped into my mind: Turn to Me.
This sounded good in theory. But, in reality, turning to God felt a bit like trying to hug air.
Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my mind around something I can’t wrap my arms around.
So I picked up the only piece of God I could physically touch: His Word. “If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love
the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him — then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess
nations larger and stronger than you” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23).
I love how this Scripture says “hold fast” to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow — to make God the last thing I try when I’m stumbling
and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, “God …” at the utterance of His name He will “dispossess” things trying to possess me.
In the midst of struggles, He is there … I just have to acknowledge that reality. “Dear God, I love You. I don’t love this situation. But I love You. Therefore,
I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and walking through until I get to the other side of this.”
Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. I don’t have to run. I can turn to Him. And in doing this, I see His flicker of light,
and a pulse of divine hope courses through my heart.
Dear Lord, thank You for helping me see that while this difficult season is a part of the tunnel, it’s not the whole journey. It might be dark in this
section, but it won’t be dark all the way through. Keep reminding me that even in the darkest parts, I have immediate access to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my
righteous right hand.” (NIV)
It is so funny how God uses things. the other day, I called up a pastor friend of mine. I said to him, “pastor Donnie, I am stuck. I feel dry, just discouraged, for no reason.” I do have some reasons, actually. this trip I am taking, well, I am worried about things. I am worried about things coming together. I am worried about Merv while I am gone. things just aren’t working out as quickly as I think they should. I hate traveling! I never want to do it again! that’s how I feel right now, anyway.
Pastor Donnie told me that in 1 Samuel, there was a time when David’s men came back to Ziklag from hanging out with the Philistines. David thought he was going to fight with them there Philistines, but they had other ideas, so sent him back to Ziklag. no I don’t remember chapter and verse. But as soon as he told me about it, I remembered the story. I didn’t have to look it up. and I knew right where he was going with it. no, not that! I’ve heard this before! but I don’t know how. So let me go on, so everyone will know what I’m talking about.
When David and his men came back to ziklag, they found out the Amonites had taken away everything and everyone–wives, children included. so the men were about ready to stone David. Seriously. this is not an exaggeration. but then, it says David “encouraged himself in the Lord.” And isn’t that what this devotion was talking about too? Hmm. it’s not easy to do practically. How? turn to the word. but, but, but… I want something more simple. I want something to just, come to me. I don’t want to make that effort. the Word is just so, hard to understand. and hard to read. And it takes energy. I just want god to come and speak with authority in my life. am I saying something anyone can understand? wow! this is a lot to ponder today. I guess I better get into that Word of God so that I can use it to encourage myself in the Lord my god. It’s not easy, but it’s something tangible I can do.