How my soul longs for You, Lord!
1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
So I long for You, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before Him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
While my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?
~ Psalm 42:1-3 — NLT ~
So far, 2013 has been one of the most painful and difficult times of my life, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve been battered and bruised by the enemy of my soul, as I’ve suffered chronic acute pain, grief, and illness, followed by the deepest darkest depression I’ve ever experienced, and on top of that, terrible financial difficulty because I am no longer able to work. All of these things combined have also left me struggling with fear and anxiety. I keep trying to remember that God does not give
us me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind, but these things just keep attacking me from nowhere, while I am at my weakest.
Much as I love the Lord, I’ve struggled with doubt — not about His goodness, for I know He is wonderful, kind and merciful! The doubt I suffer is in myself. I’m so much weaker than I once thought I was, not so long ago. I haven’t been the mighty warrior I wanted to be. Instead, all of these attacks against me have left me cowering in fear and weakness, leaving me disgusted with myself… I’m disappointed in myself, because I thought I had an unshakeable faith, and instead of battling the enemy of my soul, I curl up into a ball, weeping and shaking, fearful not of the devil, but of God’s anger against me, because without faith, it is impossible to please God. I am so grateful when I hear the Lord speaking to me, but I fear that if I don’t get my act together, He may tire of me and speak to someone else.
Now, I know that nothing can ever separate
us me from His love, and if someone else were confessing these things to me, I would comfort them, reminding them of His great love that endures forever. I would tell this person to encourage herself and begin to speak life to herself, even in the midst of her anguish… Does anyone else feel so sick and tired? Does anyone else feel intense pain and sorrow — physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Is anyone else struggling to hang on? Does anyone else long for the Lord — to see and to hear; to touch and to feel? Then please, join me and encourage yourself as David did, when his enemies chased him away from what was rightfully his, leaving him depressed, alone and fearful…
David felt this way, and Elijah too, was depressed and fearful, and God gave David a mighty inheritance, and He took Elijah up in a chariot of fire, showing His great love for them. He even called David a man after His own heart. Therefore, won’t the Lord be equally merciful and kind to
us me? Even though I’ve disappointed myself, by the way I’ve responded to all of these issues that I’ve faced in the last year, have I really disappointed God, who already knew my weaknesses and how I would respond to all of these combined issues? Before, I had a lot of confidence in the Lord (so I thought), but after going through what I’ve been through, and seeing my response to all of those pressures, and the pain as well, I think I had a lot of confidence in myself and my knowledge of the Lord.
You see, I had a lot of faith in my own strength, and that faith had to be broken, because according to His word, He is the Lord, my God, and I should worship Him alone and no one else… Rather than depending on
yourself Cheryl and your my own self, we I must:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
~ Psalm 3:5-6 — NLT ~
The road to recovery is perilous, and wrought with pain, and I’m beginning to understand that I can’t recover by the strength of my will, because if that had been possible, I wouldn’t have gone through the physical and emotional pain to start wtih. You see, I tried to ignore the pain of it all at the start, but my strength wasn’t enough. I needed to depend on something else… I need to understand as Paul understood:
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 — NLT ~
As ugly and painful as these physical and emotional afflictions have been, I’ve learned much about myself, and it wasn’t all good. You see, there have been other people in my life who suffer from chronic depression, and I have always been very short and annoyed with them as they struggled just to survive. I can remember snapping at one of the ones I loved, telling him/her, “You’re not even trying to get over this. You need to stop wallowing in your own self-pity.” I shake my head in shame and sorrow now, as I think of the additional pain I inflicted on those who were helplessly trying to withstand the painful assault on their emotions, and I humbly ask God for forgiveness. I will also seek the ones that I hurt with my hateful, self-righteous attitude, and personally ask for their forgiveness.
The Lord blessed me with the strength to return to my church today, for the first time in months, and I can’t even begin to describe the joy I felt at “coming home,” to my church family. Everyone welcomed me home with arms wide open, and with open hearts. I wept through much of the service, and even now, I don’t have the words to describe how I felt to be in the presence of God and my brothers and sisters in the Lord.
I know that the road to my recovery will be a long and hard one, but the Lord has made it clear that I won’t be alone. If the Lord will help me to keep my eyes and my heart set on Him, I will overcome the tumult and sorrow that has enveloped me. You see, the scriptures are true, and in them, we find this truth:
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
~ Philippians 4:13 — NLT ~
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
~ Philippians 3:12-14 — NLT ~
My beloved readers and friends, so
many are I am struggling under the weight of these physical and emotional burdens, and I humbly ask you to pray for me. I truly do appreciate the prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ, for they strengthen me, giving me the courage to face each new day. Meanwhile, in case you are wondering how this all ties in with the seven words and the scripture verse at the beginning of this post, I’ll tell you… I was up at 4:00 this morning, and those words were resounding in my spirit… How my soul longs for You, Lord! There was also a song on my heart, and it was while I was worshiping, that He moved me to share this with you. You see, when we worship the Lord, He shows up, and begins to move, and not always as we expect Him to do. I don’t understand why He wanted me to share all of this today, but I shared the pain and ugliness inside of me for His glory, and because I am His child, and because of His glory, He won’t let me stay this way. And perhaps there is someone reading this post right now, who has also been suffering from physical and/or emotional pain. If so, my friend, be encouraged. The Lord loves you, and He wants to reveal the truth about you to yourself, so that you can receive healing in Jesus’ name!
32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
~ John 8:32 — NLT ~
I pray the Lord blesses each one of you beloved readers, and if you have been suffering, begin to call on the Lord, and be willing to do what His Spirit leads you to do. I pray for each and every man, woman or child who reads this post will find encouragement, knowing that the Lord loves you with an everlasting love. I pray that you will know His peace that passes all understanding, and that your pain and your mourning will be turned to joy…
14… I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever. Amen.
God bless you, my beloved readers!