If only life had the decency to be the other way around.
I do not know why lies have all the connections to adrenaline suppliers.
I do not know why it’s fear, anger, and self-hatred that can seize your heart and weigh it down with a twenty-pound force, rather than peace and love.
I do not know why worry seems so inescapably truthful and peace so too-good-to-be-truey. (Okay, I didn’t have a good word there, but you know what I mean.)
But it is so. Some things are promised to the Christian, but not immediately possessed. Truths must be worked for; lies ride the second law of emotional thermodynamics straight to your doorstep. Truths must be fought for; lies dart across your battle lines and start whispering their propaganda. Truth is the gym visit, lies the chocolate cake. Truth is the ponderous jetliner, lies the gravity. The world and the four silent walls of your apartment shout addiction, despair, and your lack of value; God speaks in a still, small voice.
Even listening to the relatively loud voice of nature requires work – spiritual linguistics. Many eyeball the galaxy and see an accident. When your own life is chaos, it’s easy to agree. Part of your heart whispers, “isn’t it obvious? He isn’t there. Or he isn’t good. Just quit fighting to believe otherwise; it’ll all be such a relief.”
The good news is…muscles expand.
Work gets easier as it is performed. Ever heard the saying, “It’s easier to stay in shape than to get in shape?” It works here. There was a time when praying my way into peace took hours of spiritual work. Now it takes much less. In fact, knowing it’s possible does half the work. Like a youngster’s body finally bringing together all the right muscle movements on his first bike, the spiritual disciplines come.
It can be a long, difficult phase in which we learn to routinely surrender our emotions to Christ and find stability, peace, and hope in him. But there are equally long and difficult phases in which we learn that simple mistakes can get you fired from even your first job at the chicken joint, or that driving recklessly can get your car totaled, or that your first high school relationship is rarely destiny. It feels unfair. How were we supposed to know?
But there was a second job, a second car, a second chance, was there not? A second side to the valley of the shadow of death.
To those are born on the battlefield, perhaps in a foster home or saddled with depression, God offers more. The bigger the battle, the bigger God’s reinforcements.
Don’t give up hope. You’re far stronger than when you started. As we learn the Shepherd’s voice, the lies grow strangely dim along with the rest of the things of earth, while the truth fills our ears. Though we might not possess it yet, we are promised it.
I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, please feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!