How convinced are we of the Lord’s love for us? How personal is it in our lives? Does he care what our feelings are toward Him?
This past year was the hardest time of my life. I had gone through bouts of discouragement and anxiety before, but this one surpassed them all. Expecting with our fourth child, it started off a little rocky with inner fears and anxieties. But this quickly gave way to much bigger and deeper issues.
I had always harboured anxious thoughts about God, wondering if He really did accept me and if Jesus really did love me, seeing as how I fell so short so often. But suddenly my shortcomings were so magnified I didn’t know where to turn. My mind felt like it was going crazy.
I have always tried to have some sort of control in my life, but when this depression hit me, I was left with nothing. Empty. Stripped of my crutches I used to lean on. I felt like nothing in my life mattered anymore.
I cried out to God for mercy, desperately searching the scriptures for reassurance and comfort. And again and again He revealed to me, over the course of many sorrow filled days, that I was His child. And it was Jesus’ righteousness that made me acceptable in His sight, and not my own catastrophic attempts to maintain a clear record in His sight. And quite literally, they were catastrophic. It tore me apart to try to make amends with my guilt ridden conscience. There were times when God revealed His sovereignty so distinctly. One day stands out very clearly to me.
It was raining hard one summer day. A swim date had been cancelled. I had arranged to get together with a friend, but something had come up and we had to reschedule for another day. I felt very distressed on this particular day. My husband had previously told me I should call him whenever I needed to talk, so I dialled his number. Again and again, the call wouldn’t go through. I was feeling so desperate! At one point, I went off by myself somewhere and just cried out to God to reveal Himself to me. But no reply. I felt forsaken, and I felt angry at God for not answering.
It wasn’t long after this when my husband called me back, but by this time I was totally discouraged. When he came home later, I shared my heart with him, and we spent some time in the evening watching a family movie with the children. I felt a burden being lifted, and God revealing to me that I was the child that needed to find that assurance that I was His daughter.
Writing in my journal that evening on the events of the day, I recalled a dream I had had early that morning, and proceeded to write it down…
Our house was being invaded by two thieves. My husband was running around with a suitcase full of money, trying to hide it from them (totally out of character for him I assure you!). I ran outside with my cell phone, trying to dial 911. But I just couldn’t press the numbers in right. Im running behind a fence and there’s all kinds of netting entangling me, and I hear one of the thieves coming up behind me. But I’m getting stuck in this netting and still can’t dial 911.
Finally I give up, and lay still, and wait for Jesus, because He was my only hope. And I see a light, and a form appearing, and I knew it was Him. And than I woke up.
I suddenly realized how this dream had predicted my day! I couldn’t dial 911, just like I couldn’t get through to my husband. And I had all these discouragements and feelings of despair coming at me trying to steal any assurance I had. And how, at the end of the day, I just needed to surrender and look to Jesus. I rejoiced to see how much my life was in God's hands!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion’, says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’, The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lam. 3:22-26.
I find, just as much as in that really dark time, also in the better times I need to look to Him to refresh my soul. And the enemy has so many tactics to distract our souls.
Make Jesus the love of your life in the better times and the bad, and His joy and love will overflow into every area and spill out to the people around you.
God bless you!
Lighthouse Gospel Church