Today’s blog is a confession. I have been battling writer’s block. Carpal tunnel is making my writing jaunts fewer and far between, but I compose blogs in my head all day long! I read something in the newspaper….or hear something in a sermon….or read something in the Bible…or observe something beautiful and want to share it. But then when I sit down to write, all words stop. I think this has a lot to do with the state of my relationship with my God. You see, I am walking in the desert place. I have unresolved health issues and am striving with a medical culture that thinks nothing of over-testing and under-reporting and that places no credence of the Power and Reality of God. I have real struggles with phobias that pull me down in the quagmire, leaving me physically exhausted and emotionally drained. My Bible reading seems forced. My worship — which used to be bubbly and joyful with outstretched arms — now feels subdued.
Today’s sermon, in part, dealt with having joy in all circumstances.
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice. (Phil 4:4)
I think the preposition “in the Lord” must be the key to being able to have joy while walking through the wilderness. Truthfully, as I sit and write here today, there is no joy in me. Joy is not to be mistaken with happiness. Happiness is fleeting — but joy is much bigger. It is a framework through which we can look at life…like God-colored glasses. When I am trudging through this desert, how do I perceive the sand swirling around me?
Have I been blinded? Or do I use my God-colored glasses to see the true reality in the spiritual realm — that the Lord himself is watching over me?
I sobbed my way through the song Amazing Love today because I really can’t get my mind around the fact that God wants me.
Amazing love, how can it be? That you my King would die for me? Amazing love, I know it’s true…and it’s my joy to honor you…
The Lord redeemed me…so why do I still feel like damaged goods? Why do I feel worthless and unlovable?
Cause I took off my God-colored glasses and have been wallowing in the sand, that’s why!
A joyful response to the desert in my spiritual life would be…what? To keep walking. To stand firm. To refuse to allow the enemy to convince me that I am beyond saving and worthless. To focus my inward eyes on the Lord who takes me by the hand and guides me, trusting that these words still hold true, over 2000 years since they were first written:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4)
Now if only I could remember where I put those glasses….