It feels as though I have been in a wrestling match for weeks against an invisible opposition. No matter which way I turn the other is faster and seems to know my next move before I do. I often take breaks, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. During these breaks I go to my corner of the mat and pray and beg God to tell me how to win, or I reason with Him and argue that I should not have to be in this match at all. I have tried to pretend I am not in the match at all. Like when your mom tells you to ignore the bully’s and they will go away. I go back feeling a strong ability to ignore but it doesn’t work. Sometimes I fall to my knees and ask for understanding, other times I am angry and yell a bit at my Savior, accusing Him of not helping me. Yesterday, after an extra long time in the ring, I left feeling particularly bloodied and bruised. I turned desperately to other things to feel better. I ate a lot, I cried in bed, and numbed myself.
I keep thinking of hope. It seems the thing that hurts the most in this battle is that I hope to see the victory. During my timeouts I fill myself with faith that victory is coming that this will be the time. I want to defeat my opposer and finally be done with this match.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled it is the tree of life.” -Proverbs 13:12
My heart feels sick and during these breaks I start to feel better. I think, it wont be so bad this time. I can do another round and it won’t feel so bad if victory is not in the cards. But that is not how it is working, every time its harder, every time I feel sicker afterwards. So what do I do? What is going wrong? Is this just life or is there someway I am out of alignment and can “think” in a way where it won’t be so difficult?
My battle is a good one, the outcome I am wanting is a very good one. Possibly even necessary. It isn’t abnormal or even that weird, most people I know have this victory and probably don’t think twice about it. It is a loving thing for my family, so I can not say that it is wrong for me to want this. (Plus I have tried that technique too and it doesn’t work). So, I question if I have misplaced longing. My hope is in Jesus.
“We put our hope in the Lord, He is our help and shield. In him our hearts rejoice for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. -Psalm 30:20-22
I have been reminding myself of this verse. I have also been asking this: if I want something good and normal for my life, how do I not invest hope in it? Is that even possible? The definition of hope is: a feeling of expectation or desire for something to happen, which seems a pretty impossible task to never have. But hope is also defined as this: a feeling of trust. This seems to be where things could go wrong.
Am I putting trust in something other than God? Desire for good things is great but am I trusting in this thing? The thing about this world is it will not last, nothing will survive, our bodies will die, the cities will crumble, everything is on its way out.
“Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day. For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]! So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
We live in a world that is in the process of perishing and hope can only truly lie in God, who offers eternal life. With this perspective I can let go of shame that my desires are bad but also realign myself with the truth that hope can only be in Gods promise of an eternal, spiritual life with Him. I need to repent, pray God reveals all the hope I have in earthly things and help heal the heart sickness that has been invading. I already feel better, there is always relief in the goodness He has to offer. I am so grateful for His correction and even for the terrible and passionate “feelings” that leave me desperate for Him.
I do not know what my role will be in this particular wrestling match. Do I keep fighting but with a new sense of what victory is? Do I sit on the sidelines with the one I love and see how it plays out? Or do I walk away and decide there are other things that would be wiser to do with my time? I do not know but I start the day with full confidence my Creator does and He delights in revealing such things to me.