Of Battle and Comfort and Truth

Some mornings I sit here in front of this screen and I know exactly what I want to write and how I want to write it. The words come pouring out of the tips of my fingers in an almost miraculous way.

This is not one of those mornings.

Some mornings I know what I want to say but the words are blocked up and it’s like wrestling a gorilla to get them typed in any sort of sensible way. Every word seems like way more work than it’s worth, and I wonder why I’m bothering. Sometimes I don’t bother; I just give up and walk away and do something I know I’m capable of, like reading a book.

This is not one of those mornings either.

Today I look at my blinking cursor and it dares me, as if it can read my mind– just try to write. Just try to fill this big empty whiteness with anything worth saying. It knows I have no idea what to say.

Do you ever have days when there’s just this one thing that is dominating all your thoughts, and you know you need to let it go and turn your eyes on Jesus and all that, but you just can’t seem to do it? That’s me today. And this one thing isn’t something I’m ready to blog about yet, because I haven’t worked through it all yet.

But it’s all I can think about. Which is making writing in this blog a bit of a challenge.

And I’ll be honest with you– I’m fighting this morning. Fighting lies and fighting fear. Not sure if that’s even true. Fighting seems too strong a word for it. I’m tired. I feel like I’ve been in one long, exhausting, bloody battle with the enemy of my soul– my accuser– for weeks now. Paul tells me to stand but even sitting seems like too much work today.

I wonder how I can face another onslaught of this attack on my value, my identity in Christ, my purpose. I feel insignificant and misunderstood. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how Satan wants me to feel. There is only one cure for this, and it is Truth. Nothing but the real, God-given Truth of God’s Word can fight against the lies of an enemy who knows my weak spots and isn’t afraid to jab at each tender place with exactly the right lie, the perfect subtle twisting of what is true.

Maybe you’re where I am today. Questioning your value, your mission, your purpose, your significance. Wondering if you’ll ever get past this valley. Conflicted and overwhelmed and not even sure of what you’re doing or what’s going on inside your heart. Maybe you also would like nothing better to go to your bedroom with the biggest bag of chocolate you can find, curl up in a ball and read a book or binge-watch Netflix reruns for the entire day.

On days like this my flesh wants to wallow in self-pity, and it takes discipline to open Scripture and read truth. It does. God’s Word is sweet like honey but let’s be honest, sometimes we just want to be allowed to be bitter for a while. That’s what sounds nice to me right now; I’m not going to lie. But I can’t be like that. That too is a lie– that somehow there will be comfort in self-indulgence and self-pity and selfishness. There is no comfort in self, y’all. That’s the truth.

Where there is comfort is in God’s Comforter– the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent Him as our Comforter and also to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). And today, I need to realize that it is in that truth that I am going to find my comfort, not in a huge bag of chocolate or a Netflix binge or snapping at my children or convincing my husband I can’t possibly ever do anything again so he probably needs to take the kids down and enroll them in the local school and then please bring me a pizza.

So here’s some truth for my weary heart today– truth straight from the Word of Truth, brought to mind by the Spirit of Truth, who is my Comforter– and yours, if you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and are saved.

I question my value, but God says–

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

I question who I am, but God reminds me that I am His child and that He is still doing His good work in me–

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.(1 John 3:1-2)

And He tells me that I am chosen–

You did not choose me, but I chose you. (John 15:16a)

I question my purpose, whether I’m doing what God wants me to, whether God even has a purpose for me. But God’s Word is clear–

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)

I am chosen and appointed and given the purpose to bring forth fruit, and to glorify my great God–

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.(1 Peter 2:9)

I feel insignificant, but that’s a lie. Because God says I am significant to Him–

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13-14

Significant, and precious–

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. (Isaiah 49:15-16)

I feel misunderstood, and maybe I am by the people around me, but never by my God, my Creator.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

He knows me. He understands me. The forsaken outcast, Hagar, recognized God as the One who saw her, and that brought her great comfort. He sees me too. He has called me, purchased me, adopted me, named me, and set me apart as His. He has given me a purpose, a mission. And He has given me the help I need to complete my mission– and the comfort and encouragement I need on the days when I feel like a pointless mess.

I asked my friends on Facebook to share verses that encourage them when they are discouraged. Here are the references they shared with me. Maybe they will bless you, too.

John 3:16

Psalm 46:10

Psalm 18:19

Jeremiah 33:3

Psalm 23

1 Corinthians 15:58

Galatians 6:9-10

Romans 8:28

Psalm 103

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Hebrews 11

The books of Psalms, Philippians, and Ecclesiastes

That is an amazing list. Enough, I think, to get any believer out of the dumps. And as I sit here in my chair, hours after I started this post, this is what the Spirit reminds me of:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

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