So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:20 New International Version (NIV)
Looking back over my life, there have been many times when I’ve felt such a deep sadness that I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through. As a child, I was so backward at times that I completely closed myself off to other people. I wouldn’t try new things, I wouldn’t do anything that could possibly draw any attention to myself. I just wanted to fade into the background and not be noticed. Needless to say, this was something I became very good at. Eventually, I had mastered the art of being invisible. But God had other plans for me. And thankfully, His plans didn’t include my fading into the background forever. He had no intention of letting me disappear unnoticed.
The devil wants God’s people to feel worthless. He wants us to forget that we are beautiful. He wants us to feel like failures when we don’t go after what the world tells us we should want. He wants us to feel as though we have disappointed those around us and if we aren’t already geared toward self-deprecating behavior, he will do his best to introduce things into our lives which will stir up those feelings of inadequacy within us. For this reason, we must learn the truth of God’s word. We must know beyond anything that the world tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We must internalize that God, Himself made each and every one of us for a purpose. We must embrace the fact that God doesn’t make mistakes and that He wants us to feel confident and strong. If the devil is attacking us and trying to make us feel less than worthy, then he has already figured out that we are a threat to him. And he is counting on the fact that we may not yet have figured this out for ourselves.
God puts us through our paces. He allows us to endure hardships and trials. He doesn’t leave us in despair. He only steps back and allows us to figure out how we can best access His power in our lives when we are facing a difficult situation. He doesn’t give us the answers to the test, but He has been trying to teach us the lessons we will need to learn in order to pass those tests when they come. If we’ve built our lives around Him and His truth, then our foundation will be strong enough to withstand those storms when they appear. We must be ever vigilant to seek out God’s answers when life presents us with a question.
There is a song that my sisters and I used to sing many years ago that always seemed to capture where I’ve been and where I’m afraid to go. The lyrics went like this:
Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older, too
Yes, I’m getting older, too
Take my love and take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide brought me down~Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
To me, it seems like this is exactly how life goes. By the time we figure out what we were afraid of, the time to confront it has passed. On occasion, we get the opportunity to experience healing that we once thought was impossible. Through healing the hearts of our children and wiping away their tears, we might somehow wipe away some of the tears that were still drying in our own eyes. Or maybe by holding a parent’s hand as they make their final transition, the knowledge that someone still cares will give them peace as they journey home. Reading a story or singing a final song to a loved one who is fading, even when you’re sure they can’t hear you…somehow gives us a sense that we didn’t get it all wrong. Or maybe just saying a prayer for someone you love who has lost their way…just knowing that the One who can fix all things is listening and He knows how to make things right in the end can give us comfort where we might have thought we would always feel pain.
We won’t find that kind of peace in the things of this world. Only counterfeit comfort that fades away over time. With God, His healing lasts forever. His protection never fails. His love never ends. And so, we can take heart in knowing that while the landslide may try to pull us down, His love will always lift us up and over all of the pain and the strife. Be blessed. He is there for you always.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.
~Matthew 12:20 NIV~