Sometimes the week just feels particularly long. I spend all week doing my best to keep my raging thoughts at bay, just below the surface to where I know they’re there, but I can’t feel their disturbance. But now, the end of the week has me strained from my efforts and I cannot try any longer. I am falling under the weight of their pressure, unable to stand and feel the joys of a new morning. Sometimes when I am able to remember the truth of this life and the reason why I am in the place I am in, I am able to continue my day joyfully. And other times, I don’t allow the truth to soak. I hold the glass in my hand but I don’t take a drink. And today has been that kind of day. I feel as though I’m walking through cement. I’m walking, I’m trying, but cement is heavy. My heart is heavy and my legs are heavy. Today is heavy.
When Reality Doesn’t Line Up With Truth
Even still, as I sat outside waiting for my class, the sun seemed to be extra blue, a gentle breeze brushed against my skin to keep me from feeling the heat of sun, the fountain outside of campus hummed a peaceful melody as it’s water splashed around, and I saw all kinds of different people on all kinds of different morning missions. Outside of my body, all that I saw was all beautiful and harmonious. But inside of my body, the part of me that I cannot see but feel, was not beautiful and harmonious, but solemn and void of joy. How could I see beauty but not feel it? How could there be such an imbalance between what I knew to be true and what I felt?
Sometimes the circumstances in our life are out of our control. Actually, most of the circumstances in our life are that way; and unfortunately most of the time they don’t come in our favor. I can think of so many circumstances that are far from my control, but I spend so much time worrying about anyway. I can’t change them, I can’t make them better or worse, but I think about them night and day, in the morning and the evening.
Is it possible to control our thoughts in such a way? Yes, we can control our thoughts and reactions to any circumstance. It takes some effort, but it’s entirely possible. But what about when we feel empty, not due to any particular circumstance, but just because on this day for whatever reason, the darkness overwhelms our mind and crushes our spirit? Can we control that? Is the feeling of depression something that is under my control? I cannot simply think it away because depression has come without invitation. Even still, depression is a state of mind, a feeling, and it comes and goes as with all other feelings. For some of us it always lurks in the shadow of our life, not always attacking, but always present. Even still, it is a feeling, and feelings are not the truth. Truth does not come and go but remains forever constant. My depression is not forever. When I am glad, I am not glad forever. Even I, as a human being, am not forever. So what is forever?
How can I understand how to live in Your truth despite feeling as though my world is shattered?
I have strained my brain out my ears attempting to understand this concept. I beg God for answers. I pray, watch sermons, read His word; and even though Christ has blessed me with a desire for these things above all else, I receive no answer. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I feel that God isn’t answering my prayers even though I am seeking Him with my whole heart. How can I live in Your truth while my bones rot?
Our Perfect Answer to It All
And then, in the midst of a night of prayer, I got the perfect answer.
“I know now Lord why you utter no answer. You yourself are the answer. Before your face questions die away. No other answer would suffice.” – C.S. Lewis
There it is, the answer of all answers. Jesus Christ. The most simple answer, yet the most complex. When Jesus Christ becomes our answer, we no longer have to ask how? He died for you and I. We no longer have to ask why? It was the will of the Father. We no longer have to ask well what now? For goodness sake, I had already been seeking it! To no longer live as one conformed to the pattern of this world, but to live transformed, to live like Jesus Christ. There is no other answer, no other purpose, and no other comfort. It is so simple. We desire to live each like this is the truth, because it is. But it is also complex. When the day-by-day is dull, and when the moment-to-moment is unbearable, how do we live in that truth?
I was watched a sermon by John Piper that evening in which he preached on how we can always be prepared to give reason for the hope that is in us, as stated in 1 Peter. He suggested that those in attendance go through the entire book and write down each purpose it gives us to have hope; and as I was doing that I was absolutely awakened and blown away by a few verses.
“For God called you to do good even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his footsteps. He never sinned, nor did he ever deceive anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds, you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepard, the guardian of your souls.” – 1 Peter 2:21-25
Here is how to live in the dull and in the unbearable, and it can be our answer because Christ is the answer. Just a few verses say it all.
Each part of this scripture was so marvelous that I wanted nothing more than to spend my day diving deeper. I decided to give my personal application/thoughts to each part of the scripture, and write down correlating verses to give more wholesome application to my own life. God just amazed me with His word so much that morning, and I am able to carry his grace with me through the moments that it feels as though I am walking through cement.
If you want to live for Jesus, but are stuck in a place where your growth is stagnant, study these characteristics of our God and embody them. It’s simply about being like Jesus; and when you decide you want to be like Him and you ask Him to change your heart, all other things will fall into place.
About the Author
Maddie is a recently graduated from a small high school in central Indiana. She will soon be leaving for a discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission in San Pedro, Belize. She loves everything pineapples, unhealthy amounts of coffee, C.S. Lewis books, and running marathons. One day she hopes to obtain a degree in Environmental Engineering. Connect with her online at Beyond the Blue.
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