Not too long ago I had a moment where I felt hopeless. I hadn’t been sleeping well– a problem that seems to recur from time to time. The problem of a lack of sleep is it robs my mind of clarity and perspective. My thoughts travel paths they would otherwise resist.
That morning, I awoke after only four hours of sleep and I knew it would be hours before sleep would find my eyes again. So I decided to go ahead and have my morning devotion- in the middle of the night. After I finished my Bible reading I tried praying. I had no words, only emotion. After days of lacking sleep, my mind was in no place to pray.
I was angry, despairing, hopeless. As the music played, “it is well” I shouted back, “It is NOT WELL!” Then I skipped the song and grabbed my journal. I may not be able to pray like I normally would, but I still had some words for God. I wrote my complaints, my feelings of insignificance, my anger at not sleeping. I filled page after page alternating between my anger and pleading with the Lord to shift my perspective, to grant me peace, to allow me sleep. I wrote how I felt certain I had no value and asking Him to show me I’m wrong. I ended my journal session with no resolve.
I try not to settle into a specific pattern during my prayer and devotion time, but lately, it’s been starting with scripture, turning to prayer and then journaling about the scriptures I highlighted. It was when I reread that days highlights that the voice of the Lord broke through.
When I started my devotion none of those feeling were on the surface, so I wasn’t reading the scripture exactly as I was now, but I had still highlighted it.
1 Chronicles 28:20 (NLT)Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.
I know that this scripture is David talking to His son Solomon, detailing him specific plans in building the temple of the Lord. However, in that moment for me, it shouted into the depths. It was as if the Father was speaking to my hopelessness assuring me that He was still with me. To keep doing the work He’s placed in front of me. I may not be seeing the fruit, but if I as I’m faithful to plow God will be faithful to produce. Then I thought of the work God is doing within myself as I read, “He will see to it that all the work related to the temple of the Lord is finished correctly.”
I was reminded that I am apart of the temple of God and He is working in me.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
I can have confidence that even though I’m having a moment, God doesn’t give up on His children. Even though I’m in the midst of an emotional rant, that is far from accurately reflecting reality, God patiently sits with me and doesn’t discount me.
Why do I share all of this today? Because the reality is we all from time to time have moments when we feel low on hope. We have a choice to make in that moment. For one, we can feed into those feelings and run from God, turning to other sources of comfort and reassurance. That’s the easier choice. When I’m angry at God I don’t particularly want to talk to Him. The second choice is to engage those feelings and bring them to the Lord. We don’t have to hide anything from Him. He is not caught off guard or offended. If I hadn’t brought those feelings to the Lord, I wouldn’t have been able to breakthrough to hear His voice.
I’m not saying that this is a perfect solution and that every time you do this you’ll have a breakthrough moment. Some seasons God allows us to walk through for purposes we don’t yet understand. However, I am saying that we can be confident we are not walking alone. Allow God to walk through it with you, even though it feels messy and not very Christian like.
After all, what’s more Christian: Keeping God at a distance because you’re angry or to let Him into your mess to do what only He can do?
Thank so much for reading, if you enjoyed this devotino then you may also enjoy the video I made on this same subject.