A couple weeks ago I was struggling to like myself even a little. I felt like a failure at all I put my hands to: this blog, my Bible study, counseling, housekeeping, eating right, child rearing…do I need to go on? The word that kept running through my mind was “inadequate”. The only thing I felt good at was failing. Yes, picture Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh but looking like me. Ever find yourself there? Oh, bother… where did my tail go?
So I have experienced these occasional states of “woe is me” before, I knew what I needed… ice cream with a big spoon, cosmic brownies and HGTV… no? No, I have tried that route before; I know it leads to feeling worse in every way.
I was well aware that I needed God and to hear from his Word. I read through chapters like Psalms 9, 16, 18 and 139, Hebrews 13, Philippians 4, 2 Corinthians 12, the list goes on. After soaking in God’s mighty Word did my rotten feelings lift and was my joy restored? No. They didn’t and it wasn’t. I still felt like my miserable self.
How can this be? Isn’t God’s Word all powerful and uplifting? Yes, it is. Aren’t God’s promises always reliable and rock solid? Yes they are. Isn’t God supposed to be our refuge and shelter? Yes, he is.
Here is the truth. My feelings, good or bad, do not heighten or lesson the Word of God. I have walked with God long enough to trust him no matter how my physical body feels. I cling to his promises more than I cling to my emotions of the moment.
Am I really inadequate? Well… yes. But I don’t put my trust in me and my ability to succeed or fail, I trust in a God that is more than adequate in every way possible.
This is what God wants from us and the lesson he wanted me to understand that week. Our obedience to what he calls us to is not dependent on how we feel or what we are going through. We read and trust God’s Word because we have faith in the one it is all about, Jesus Christ.
I don’t read my Bible just to feel good and I don’t stop when I don’t feel good. I read it because it contains the words of life and truth. Like Peter said to Jesus when the huge crowd deserted him after the difficult teaching he gave, Jesus turns to Peter and asks “Do you want to go away too?” Here is his response: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68.
Why would I look anywhere else? Only God’s Words have the power to save me. I knew all that I read was doing a work in my heart even if I could not feel it at that moment. Isaiah 55:11 – “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
I have kicked old Eeyore to the curb; God has graciously and patiently restored my ability to identify in him. No matter how wonderful or rotten I feel, I will always trust in the goodness of God. Like David I will proclaim Psalms 13:5&6, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”