Beautiful sunrise over Lake Superior.
Every once in a while (thankfully not a lot and not long) I go through periods of "darkness" where my thinking gets a bit messed up and I end up with having more questions than answers and this past week gave me one of those days. It was right smack in the middle of the week - nothing unusual about the day - I got up as usual, went to Bible study, came home and then all kinds of things kept going through my mind. Like I just said, this happens every once in a while so I know what's happening - it's spiritual warfare. It's the prince of darkness trying to make me feel bad, sad, lonely, rejected.....all those feelings of uncertainty and fear.
It was interesting that it came on the heels of a sentence in our Bible study booklet that said "It's okay to not be okay, just don't stay there." I heartily agreed with that statement and the devil took it and tried it on me. Because I wasn't "okay" - I was questioning quite a few things in my life and the whole afternoon made me weary and tired because when we start to question what we know to be true it takes energy to try and convince ourselves it's not.
I know truth, the truth the Bible speaks of. I know what I believe - Jesus, God the Father, the Holy Spirit in my life. I know that none of us gets to Heaven because were nice and good people, we only get to Heaven through faith in Christ. And it wasn't truth or belief that I was being tested on - it was myself. By nature, I'm a very private and introverted person who has never had much confidence in myself. And Satan feeds on that. He would love to keep me there. Questions like - why am I here? What difference does it make? No one would even miss me if I weren't here. Does making a home really matter in the grand scheme of things? How about my love for crafting and sewing? To what end does all this stuff that I love to do matter? Or, no one will ever like you - because you've tried haven't you? How about this blog, Mary? Do you think anyone would care if you stopped writing it? And how about your Etsy shop? Do you think anyone would spend money on something you've made? Your just under this grand illusion that you matter. Seriously, these questions actually came to my mind. But like I said, I knew what was happening and who was behind it.
While pondering all the questions that were being thrown at me, I honestly could see how someone who does not know Christ as their personal Savior and Lord of their lives, could go into a downward spiral and not come out of it. The suicide rate is at an all-time high and I can see where a spiritually lost person could despair and take that route out. But please believe me - there is a way out. I came to realize a while back that if God still puts breath into me, I'm here for a reason. His reason. And although at times that may not be totally clear to me, it's still a fact. God holds my life in His hands.
So, I would encourage you today - if you are feeling despair, hopelessness, sadness, fear, loneliness, lack of self worth or any number of worrisome feelings, go to God with it. If you aren't a believer in the Lord Jesus, make today the day. We have to start realizing that there is spiritual warfare going on for our very souls and we all need to ask God to protect us. In the past, for me, when I had a day like I had on Wednesday, I wouldn't/couldn't get out of it as quickly. But when I realize that those negative thoughts, questions, and feelings aren't from God and that they are from the enemy of my soul, it becomes easier to shake it off. THAT is a gift. And when it happens, I can lift my prayers of thanksgiving and gratefulness up.
So, again, it's okay to not be okay, just don't stay there. We all have bad days. Sad days. But instead of giving in to it, give it over to The One who can help. Watch Him fight the battle for you and then give thanks. Have a blessed Sabbath.