I had safely placed guard-rails around my heart. If a thought of sorrow over loss would come knocking, I’d brutally slam that door closed. I’d hung the sign on the gate of my mind: “No Admittance” in order to guard against Satanic self-pity. You may have seen me talk about it on Instagram last week.
Two days ago [four days after that Instagram post,] I woke up, and as I lay there, streams of tears came, and mountain of kleenex emerged on my nightstand.
We can be determined to stand in victory, but the rug can be pulled out from under us.
The problem is, standing on the rug.
By faith, I need to stand on the Rock, not the rug.
You see, I wasn’t only being bombarded with pictures and memories from the past that stood in stark contrast with my “now” – but also had been experiencing friction in my marriage – those little annoyances that dig at you but don’t get resolved. And they add up. Until, BAM! – we hadn’t taken time to confront the monster in the room.
And deeper still, inside my heart, I was carrying weights that only Jesus can carry, burdens over choices I’ve made – but failing to trust His love, to bring good even from my failures.
I do trust His love, really I do, but I forget to.
When I bleed, my eyes are prone to look too long at the wound.
And in my conversations with others “more blessed,” my life felt like more of a mess.
With just a glance through the scope of my struggles – written out, we can diagnose ‘the rug’.
The rug is an earth-bound view. A me-centered mentality.
- A focus on the present “lack” and on the past — void of the joy in the now, and void of hope for good in the future.
- A focus on the crisis instead of Christ who redeems, renews and restores all things.
- A focus on the blessings of others in comparison to my percieved lack. [Forgive me Father!]
It is disheartening to find myself, having walked this long and far with Jesus, knowing I have an inheritance in Heaven, to still stumble onto this ugly-rug of self-focus. When I bleed, my eyes are prone to look too long at the wound and forget about the Healer.
But even in THIS present failure to “buck up buttercup!” because of Jesus, I find a redemptive gift: the necessary reminder; the evidence of the self-centeredness that formerly imprisoned my soul.
Today and every day, the gospel! The good news of Jesus is my salvation. Ephesians 2:4-7
Because He has rescued me, no matter how many times I fall by failing to trust and obey, the moment I look UP to Heaven, His hand is there reaching, and lifts me from the dark and dirty earth. Again, He stands me up on the Rock, puts a new song in my mouth, and restores my blistered soul.
On the other side of Mount Kleenex, I marvel at the challenge of seeing beauty in my pain. Even though I remind others of the beauty to come, when the pain belongs to me, I get sidelined with this temporary blindness.
All through scripture, it seems this is the pulse of our “now-on-earth-and-in-heaven” life as we follow Him. He keeps us in awareness of our fleshly weakness, but also enables us to live by His strength, that His glory will be revealed, and His reflection will be seen.
I needed to get back in the Light.
My victory came through:
- Acknowledging my weakness to friends [we so need one another]
- Asking for prayer
- Having a talk with my husband
- Sitting with Jesus, receiving His unconditional love and His covering of my sin – again.
Like the Psalmist in the 73rd, and so many other Psalms, I go to the throne of grace with my lament, and come away praising the King of Kings for my future inheritance in Heaven. And, like the apostle Paul, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which He has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Dear Lord, help me avoid getting on the rug; help me keep my eyes off of myself and my circumstances, help me remain standing on the Rock with my eyes to Heaven. And thank you that when I fail, you stand me back up there again. Amen. Proverbs 24:16
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