You know that on those days I lecture myself, "Don't think with your feelings." Wrong organ.
I try to chase my heart out of the driver's seat and get my head there instead.
That rarely succeeds. It's a little like the old Just Say No campaign. It sounds right until you really think about it. If that was going to work it would have been effective when Eve was walking through perfection and spotted that fruit.
I'm so grateful for good days, giving me a chance to think. Then I can prove—make real, live out, touch and see—Your good, acceptable and perfect will, my mind transformed by the renewing of the relationship with You.
So, Lord, help me think through those dank, emotion-driven days when I spin in strange circles, now, while I’m not there. Let me unravel what happens inside when I'm troubled by the have-nots or the should-have-beens or the could-have-dones, and my contorted thought processes suck me downward, raw-skinned.
When I'm there, I feel so justified in my anger, fear, pain, whatever emotion is uppermost. I'm held captive, the emotions clogged inside me. These miserable feeling-thoughts don't let me rest. I stew and simmer instead. If I'm walking through the day, at best I'm snappish. If my head is on a pillow, the lights out, all I do is rehash circumstances.
I feed the feelings, tumbling my petty thoughts like worry beads through my fingers, blame my comfort food and self-righteousness my banner.
My spirit is slowly and gradually dragged down deeper into the death-grip of self.
But a small light glimmers at the edge of my misery, and I recall there is peace out there somewhere. I must breathe again in the realm of light and life and good.
That's where trying comes in.
Your Word floats into my thoughts, Lord, pulling me closer to the surface. I can't remember chapter and verse. All I know is they come:
“Do not fret...”
“I shall not want...”
“Do not be worried... do not worry... do not worry...”
“Be anxious for nothing...”But HOW?
I know all the tried-and-true Christian rules of thumb. Forgive me, Lord, for the times I've doled them out to those who were trapped and wanting.
Pray, we advise.But all that takes trying. I don't have it in me. Spiritually I'm still too rigid, still choked.
Read the Bible, of course.
“Casting all your care upon Him...”Slowly, instead of clawing my way out, fixing my own feelings, trying, which I can't do, I make one small choice.
Lord, how hard it is to choose to let go. This is self we're talking about. This feels like the real me. Doesn't the real me need to be in control? Let go of what, exactly?
"Be still and know that I am God."
So I simply, lucidly decide. I become willing to be willing.
And the change is instant. My center is no longer Me but You.
The weight lifts and sparkling clear thoughts bubble up. Light gently caresses me again. I can breathe, though I might also weep.
Lord Jesus, I realize I did almost nothing. I let go. Before that, I couldn't do anything to help myself.
It turns out self, the feelings, the choking emotion I defined as the real me, was my jailor. Self held me in bondage. It's only in letting go of all the putrid me-stuff that Your Spirit inundates me, filling that sudden void.
This is crazy, Lord. Me holding me captive? You freeing me from myself?
Oh. Yes. I took one thought captive to You.
Chained it up and plunked it down, and shoved it over on Your side of the table.
One thought: Willing to be willing.
The power in that is stunning. Not mine.