February 13, 2008

He is enough—tell Him so!

Because I can’t see it, I tend to forget how much events in the spiritual realm affect my sense of well-being. When I’m sad for no reason, or have a negative attitude for no reason, it is almost always because God was or is doing something special and my spiritual enemy does not like it, so goes after me. Often, the worse I feel, the more important the event.

Sunday was a great day. My Bible class studied and discussed how Jesus shared the salvation message with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). Out of that study, we saw many principles that apply to our own sharing of the gospel. Then, right after the class was over, God gave me an opportunity to actually do what we had been talking about. One of the women (who does not know Him) lingered behind to talk. To top that off, in the service that followed, the sermon topic was exactly the same thing that I had shared with her, so she heard it twice.

Monday brought unbelievable fatigue. I’d had a good night’s sleep so should not have felt so tired, but I did. I the usual tasks as well as several with deadlines, so I couldn’t loaf. I dreaded doing everything on my list, as if these ordinary chores were the most difficult in the world. In the evening, our church hosted a farewell for one special person. Attending that perked me up a bit. At the end of the evening, I took a few minutes to give a few ladies a brief quilting lesson (the same room had been double-booked with the party, so we compromised). That perked me up a bit more.

After another good sleep, Tuesday was worse than Monday. My feet dragged. My chore list was not my own as it involved taking up the slack for a couple of people unable to do their normal part toward a large mailing. I spent most of the afternoon in my car going from place to place and while not rude or impatient with others, it seemed as if the day was black and difficult.

This morning’s Bible readings were not much help. God is silent. Usually when that happens it is because I already know what He wants from me. This time, I remembered some verses from Monday, Habakkuk 3:17–19.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
When the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and prayer offer no encouragement, when life and my attitude seem to be out of sorts, with or without a reason, God still asks me to praise Him. He is the delight of my life, not the highs of Sunday (highs are always followed by lows unless I pray myself down off that mountain), nor the normally pleasing routines of life on Monday or Tuesday.

Besides that, the joy of sharing His good news on Sunday created ripples in the spiritual world. I cannot see them, but I felt them. The enemy of all souls does not like it when God’s people exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not like it when one of his captives hears the good news and responds with delight in her eyes and heart. He is unhappy with God’s people when any of us share the power of God with someone who does not yet know it. He fights back.

This same enemy is also a joy thief. He sneaks in and makes ordinary things seem like unsurmountable mountains. He whacks at ‘enough rest’ until it feels as if it never happened. He magnifies challenges totally out of proportion. If I let him, he gives me a huge case of the I-don’t-want-tos, so that even the easy things have giant minus signs painted on them.

Even though merely doing what I had to do made all his lies moot points, my accomplishments didn’t restore the joy and sense of well-being that God normally gives. The only exceptions were being with His people (fellowship), and teaching the quilting group (exercising my spiritual gift).

Sometimes I feel like such a dummy. One day without praise is sad. Two days without praise is depressing. I’m thankful that today, the third day, He gave me a small kick in the behind and reminded me that though all my normal sources of physical nourishment (like olive trees, fields and livestock) come up empty, I can still rejoice in Him. He is the God of my salvation and, regardless of other ups and downs, that never changes. The Lord God is my strength, and that never changes either.

While the Lord can make my feet like deer’s feet, and make me walk on my high hills and conquer all challenges, large or small, even if He doesn’t, I can still rejoice. I have Him, and He is enough.

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