I haven’t written a lot lately. Thought I’d give it a go tonight before I forget how to type.
I’ve had a lot going on.
First – last year on July 4th my new grandson was born! Our Independence Day Baby! Needless to say there’s been more mess, more toys, more diapers, more laundry and less sleep around our house. I can’t even describe the joy he’s brought to my life and our family!
Second- I’ve been sick. Again. Always. Having more tests and trying to figure out why my body keeps being sick. To call it annoying would be a major understatement.
Third-We’ve had some very hurtful people saying and doing the things hurtful people do.
Fourth- I guess I’ve become a little down and very reclusive due to the second and third items. It’s hard to leave the house when I don’t know when I’m going to be sick and it’s hard being round people that are hurtful when I’m wore out and not feeling well. People who have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue tend to battle with depression off and on. I’m no exception!
I’m sure I’m the only one that’s ever had life get you down. Right? 😉 Also, I’m sure some of you are reading this and are saying, “You think you’ve got problems honey, wanna read my list?”
When so many discouraging things continue to slap you in the face, it gets hard to focus on the good that’s happening; the blessings. At least for me it can be. I’ll wake up ready to conquer the world, full of hope and faith and then here it comes; the right hook to the jaw. That shot below the belt that you weren’t expecting. They aren’t coming from a sparring partner or the opponent as a literal hit; no, nowadays they come in more cerebral and emotional forms. They come as the news clip of innocent children being hurt, the facebook post that makes someone else’s life look perfect and point you at the imperfections in your own, the hurtful word or action by another – some intentional, some not; the list goes on.
I think the first thing to remember here is that our battle isn’t really with people. Flesh and blood. God’s word tells us that; there is a spiritual warfare affecting us. Satan is ready to do anything he can to bring us down and keep us from living a joyfilled life where we can be of service to the Lord.
A verse keeps coming to my mind this the last few days; Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Paul really wanted the church in Philippi to stay consistent in their life. In verses 4-7 he tells the people to always rejoice, don’t worry about your life, take your needs to the Lord in prayer, and remain consistent in your faith. Then comes verse 8 where he goes even further and tells them what to focus their thoughts on. He doesn’t mean to walk around oblivious to our situations and circumstances, he said to take those difficult things to the Lord in prayer. But the things we should keep returning to in our mind to keep us consistent are the good things from God. Truth. Noble acts. The right things in our life. Purity. All things lovely. Things you can admire.
As someone who battles depression in the course of my illness I know this can be almost impossible some days. As the boxing match I live in goes round after round there are days you just want to keep your back to the mat and let the ref count to ten. But God promises strength for each new day. We aren’t given just a set supply of strength at the beginning of our lives to get through our days. I don’t have the strength today that I’ll need three weeks from now. We are given it in doses; equal to what’s needed for that day/battle/circumstance/situation/interaction. It’s renewable.
Focusing of the positives listed in Philippians 4:8 is one way we can add a dose of strength back into our lives. I wrote this verse on a few 3×5 cards and placed one next to my bed, one next to the mirror in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen window above the sink; a reminder to myself of where my mind needs to keep returning to throughout my day. Why don’t you give it a try today – give a tough situation over to the Lord – leave it there at His feet – and place your focus on those positives.