Did you ever notice how you can go along, thinking life is going pretty well. Your ends are somehow meeting, your friends call, your dogs don’t bark… Life is good. Not perfect, but good.
And then, from out of nowhere, a blue streak will hit. You can’t explain it. It’s just a blah feeling that seems immovable in your being. Nothing is wrong, but you aren’t exactly hitting the high notes while singing in shower, either. You can’t seem to step out of the grayness, as if you are in a fog.
I am amazed at the sensitivities that God has given to our spirits. I find that when I go quiet, deep inside my cave, there is a reason. Sometimes, it’s just to give myself a good talking to — the old “Where’s your faith? Why do you worry so much?” Other times, though, it is that I need to hear something.
The truth is, we are all susceptible to feeling discouraged from time to time. It’s easy for someone to say “It’s all going to be okay.” But when you’re on your own, it’s late at night and you’re staring at the ceiling, it’s hard at times to believe it. I truly get that.
What I am learning though, is this is exactly when we need to pay attention the most. We get distracted, listening to the noise inside our heads that goes over all the reasons why something is difficult, or wrong, or unfair. We do our little comparisons and wonder how we can change our circumstances. Like sticky tape, our thoughts get caught in a vicious cycle. Our dispositions get so clouded with “what ifs” and “if onlys.” It’s draining.
None of this is productive. Once more, God isn’t in this kind of thinking.
When the blue streak hits, I am getting better at saying, “Okay Lord, I’m listening… What is it? What am I missing?” This comes after many seasons of doing things the hard way. Of too many sleepless nights filled with lament, tossing and turning. Now, hard though it is, I force myself to stop — to interrupt the circus inside my mind, and listen for what He might tell me.
It doesn’t come in Greek or Latin. It won’t come in a demonstrative way, like a voice booming in the darkness. It comes quietly, etched across my conscience… “Give it to Me.”
And I do.
Sometimes, it’s a burden or concern that I am carrying for someone I love. Or maybe a regret, a longing, a grieving, a needed resource, a healing, a careless word spoken… Whatever it is, with eyes closed, I imagine placing that very thing into the Lord’s outstretched hands. It is so powerful, so calming; a peace comes over me, and sleep returns.
I don’t mean to sound like I’ve got this all figured out. I don’t. There are some burdens that are so heavy, wrenching our spirits so greatly, that we are overcome. I’ve been here many times. But big or small, God’s response to us is the same. “You know you can’t do this on your own. Lean on me. I know what to do.”
I often need to be reminded that He’s in this life with me, guiding me. I think that is why He drags me into this quiet place, so that He can stop the spinning that comes with trying to figure things out that are completely out of my control. It’s as if He’s watching me, arms folded, a smile on His face… “Are you through? My turn… “
And then commences a knowing, an understanding, that I don’t have to have all the answers. I just need to have faith.
Does this mean we do nothing and wait on God? No, and yes. It means doing all we can within our power to be accountable, do what is in our ability to do, and then trusting Him with the outcome. Sometimes, an idea, a strategy, a different way of approaching a problem will come to me — and I absolutely know it was divinely given. Other times, things just have a way of working out that have nothing to do with me at all.
What is on your heart today that burdens your spirit? Imagine the Lord before you, His hands open, inviting you to place it there.
He wants for you to go about your life knowing He’s got it covered.
That ol’ blue streak is going to still come from time to time. The dogs are gonna bark. You may not care to sing in the shower some days. But God will always be with you. Listen for His voice.
“Give it to Me.”