Do you ever recognize the mess that you create? I am recognizing mine this morning.
Yesterday is the time when I rest. The work week is very strenuous and requires many long hours of physical labor. Saturdays are my day of doing as little as possible. Within my day of rest, many things still take place. I read, write, meditate, relax in my comfortable chair, do a little bit of housework when needed, and usually watch a movie. I have a break from our three kids because weekends are spent at their grandmother’s house. My wife sleeps during the day on Saturday because of her third-shift job. I have a quiet home to spend my time in, and I usually enjoy it.
I did the usual routine yesterday, and some napping in my recliner. In the past, laziness was not something that I embraced. It was always off-limits to me. I couldn’t sit around for long because of my personal battle with depression. If I were to spend idle time alone, I would likely get caught up within thoughts that would lead to sadness. Honestly, sometimes those thoughts still take control of my life. But on a lighter note, my efforts, my relationship with the Lord and new ways of managing my depression has minimized those times. I now know how to recognize the triggers. I now quickly take control through my learned methods.
It was a very relaxing day. The weather was cold and rainy. My home is a comfortable blessing, and I thoroughly enjoy being here. I spent my day in many positive thoughts. In the coming weeks, my wife and I are going to spend a weekend in the Smoky Mountains. Autumn in the mountains is a colorful and euphoric experience. My wife and I get very little time together within our busy lives, so we are looking forward to the little escape. Those thoughts of the anticipated time ahead has been filling my heart with gladness. I have been thinking about the growing relationship with a loved one. We have had a rocky past that has brought much negativity into our lives. Through the grace of God, those hardened places within us are being softened. We are attending therapy to help us through. I wrote a piece yesterday that might seem controversial to some, but my intention was to help others recognize the difference between emotions and His Holy Spirit. To place my deep passion of true relationship with Him within a writing yesterday morning was something that I needed to do. Like most of my writing, my intentions are to help others see a different perspective to help them grow closer to Him. I do the best that I can. Just resting my tired body was also a great pleasure yesterday. I had found peace within the moments throughout the whole day, but the evening was a different story.
I had been wanting to watch a movie called “The Shack” for quite sometime. I luckily ran across the movie within a search I had done on my streaming device. I spent the majority of late afternoon watching it. It is definitely a good flick. It is one man’s experience with finding trust in the Lord. It brought on many different emotions as I watched, and many parts really touched my heart. It had its own way of teaching me a few things about His forgiveness, timing and love. It really made me think about how a relationship with Him is truly what we all need. Every single one of us. It had me going over much of what I’ve learned about His true nature, and how He works. I had several minutes of the movie left to watch when my wife had gotten up out of bed to start her routine. She had to go to work again, so we spent our limited time together. It started off good, but my attitude shifted into a terrible mess. I became so frustrated. I was pretty mad at one point. It wasn’t my wife, it was how I handled things that are happening right now. My wife has a debilitating autoimmune disease, and RA, and the doctor is trying to find a combination of medications that work for her. At the current moment, what she is taking isn’t working. It is difficult to not be able to fix her, and it is very hard watching her drag herself around, trying to be strong. That was the start of my frustration. Then, it was an issue with my dog. On top of that, it was an issue with a down comforter on a bed which somehow split open, leaving feathers all over the house. After that, it was my frustration turning into anger. I had to leave the house. I jumped in our car and went to a local fast food joint. I collected myself the best that I could while I was away.
You’d have to be me, living my life, but I would like to explain a few things. My life has been a struggle for me. Most of it was spent not only not knowing the Lord, but also full of the same frustration that had manifested last night. It has been a fairly new experience for me, learning how to manage my negative emotions. Before, my self-control was usually absent. The painful memories of the past would consume me, leaving me in a permanent hellacious place of dread. Without Christ as my foundation, my life was always sinking into the quicksand of my own disaster. The power of toxic thoughts will leave you hollowed, and they will destroy you from the inside out. I wholeheartedly believe the devil was running most of my life for the majority of my adult years. It is not a surprise to me then when occasions like last night suddenly take hold. Not only was my day of peace and rest broken apart by the devil’s craftiness, it was also after such a great movie about the Lord. My joy was misplaced. My flesh was weak, and the old man inside stepped in again. The devil rejoiced in my old familiar inadequacy.
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. -Psalm 16:8 (NLT)
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for he is with me.” Psalm 23 is good for me to meditate on when I am faced with the times of slipping into the old patterns like I had last night. It’s true; God never leaves, and walks very close to me in my despair. He has shown me time and time again just how much He loves me, and His Holy Spirit always whispers the familiar comfort into my aching heart. He never abandons me, even when I abandon Him. He is my refuge and my strength. It always comes back to standing firmly on His ground of stability.
I came back home from my trip to the fast food place, myself again. I hugged my wife and apologized. She has such a beautiful heart. I am blessed to have a loving and forgiving wife. I finished the movie and spent some more time at rest. His peace remains.
I pray this morning that you also embrace the loving presence of God within your life. I pray that if you struggle with depression, that you seek help. I also pray that you seek the Lord in all of His love. I pray that your relationship with Him grows, and you realize that He is willing to be your comfort, your Father and your refuge. I pray that your frustrations of the world are placed at His feet, and the peace that only He can offer is embraced.