Some days, doing what you’re called to do feels like it’s just too hard. The heavy weight of responsibility can make us feel like we’re not competent enough to carry out this call God has placed on our lives. You know where those thoughts and feelings come from? The great deceiver, the condemner, the liar…satan. The Bible says he comes to rob, kill, steal and destroy. He doesn’t come to just shake things up a bit. He wants to do a swift drop kick to knock you off your feet, then he wants to climb up the ropes like some crazy WWF wrestler, and jump from there nailing you in the chest so you can’t even take a breath. Can you relate? The devil will ALWAYS kick you when you’re down. He’s not content for you to just be tired, he wants to pulverize you, and any faith you have left in Jesus. If he can do that, he wins, and you lose.
Well, not long ago, I’d had a rough week, fraught with wicked uppercuts to the chin, roundhouse kicks to the ribs and a pretty accurate one-two punch. It was just a down time, nothing I could really put my finger on, just had a little case of the blues. I’ve found that any time I’m disappointed in any way, my old failures find their way in again, paralyzing me. It seems like any time I would find my footing, I would get knocked down again and again. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And so ensued a lovely little pity party…
You’ve had one of those right? You know the kind where it’s not enough to just be a little bummed out. You throw a big shindig and you do that party up! You decorate it with cups full of regret, sugar bowls tainted with sorrow, and a big fat cake of despair! Maybe you even bring others along with you. You send them texts that say “Does God even care about me?” You email them “If God loves me so much, then why are things not changing for the better? Why I am so sad?”
As I tuned in to the local Christian radio station, it seemed all the messages I heard were about the strongholds satan can bring into your life, and to not underestimate his power. He’s not stronger than God, but without allowing God to be our shield, we are left unprotected. I let it sink in, but only a little, because this little bit of wisdom was, after all, interrupting my pity party. How rude!
I once heard a pastor say “How dare you say ‘does God really love me?” Talk about a jolt! I was instantly convicted and humbled. I remembered all that Jesus went through at the cross, the pain, the agony. I was reminded that when everything else is going wrong, there is one thing that will never change, and can never be erased…THE CROSS!! It was for me! How dare I doubt the love of a God who threw shame to the wind, embraced all of us, and died in our place. Not a quick, easy death, but a horrid, mortifying, excruciating death. Not to mention carrying the weight of our sin and shame, a feeling He had never endured, having never sinned. We know what shame feels like, because every time we sin we feel that heaviness. But imagine Jesus who was without any sin, suddenly feeling not just my shame, but the shame of an entire world, from generations past, present and future. That is a weight and pain that cannot be described in any language.
Oh friends, it is my prayer that God would forgive our doubt, forgive our flippant view of the cross at times. Impress on us the magnitude of His love, His sacrifice, and His unending devotion to seeing us, His children win! He wants us to succeed in all that He has called us to by walking in the power of His Holy Spirit! When life is less than perfect, it is my prayer that God will make us useful, with full followers who do not waver.
Needless to say, my pity party didn’t last long. But this was one party I was happy to have crashed!