One of the great things about blogging is that you can tell ugly stories about yourself and still write it out so that you look good in the end. This isn’t one of those. I am just in one of those emotional funks and I am so Sick. Of. It. Well, really I’m just sick of myself. I hate these yucky phases. I over-analyze and over-fix and over-blame and over-emotionalize and just wish it would pass. I pray the whole time; but prayers just feel like a big “uuugggghhhhh, puuuuleeeeze!” complete with foot stomping impatience. My emotions are huge and heavy and I just run from one emotional “hook” to another trying to find someplace to leave them. Nice. I know.
Sunday night in Bible Study, we landed on Psalm 106. It’s an amazing and scathing look at Israel’s faithless history and God’s faithful love. One of the lessons came from verse 24 which says, “they despised the pleasant land having no faith in His promise.” We learned that part of the definition of “despise” means to feel undone. Did you catch that? In the Jamy Fisher version it might say, “they felt undone where God put them because they quit believing the truth about Him.” Verse 25 goes on to say, “they murmured in their tents and did not obey the voice of the Lord.” Then in verse 28 we learn that “they yoked themselves to the Baals…..” Gross. In other words, they started worshipping and living just like all the lost folks around them.
Now the lesson I was teaching is all about feeling undone….and the truth that God is right there in your present reality (Hosea 11:8) even when you are despising His pleasant land as you come apart at the seams; undone indeed. But this is what confronted me head on right as I was teaching. Feeling undone is part of my life. I can over-analyze and over-fix and over-blame and over-emotionalize and I will still feel undone. It’s part of me being me in this lifetime and the thing I will be most happy to kick out the door come heaven. The important thing is what I do with my undoneness. I’m embarrassed to say how long I’ve let being undone crash into my life and family and ministry. But as my mind connected verse 24 to verse 25 to verse 28, I learned something that makes it worth sharing this icky part of my life. And this morning it is finally filtering into my heart and settling over my undone emotions like my favorite fleece blanket.
When I feel undone (24)
And then start to murmur (25) in my most private and secret life,
Refusing to believe the truth about God (24),
Disobedience (25) and Dangerous Attachments (28) are just around the corner.
And I will remain undone.
Could it be that the reason my prayers are an irritatingly ineffective cacophony of “uuugggghhhhh, puuuuleeeeze!” is that I’m so busy murmuring my painful complaints to those who share my "tent" that I can no longer hear God and believe? When I am undone I am especially vulnerable, and I need attachments. Like the Israelites I will find attachment; right or wrong because I am desperate for connection. In my busy doings or my job, in my DVR-ed TV shows or Netflix, in my food or books or exercise or other addictions, in my friendships…in good things and sinful things I find attachment. And there is only One worthy of our attachment. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Interestingly enough in this “undone” conversation going on between my mind and my heart, my mind finally got a word in edgewise this morning while I was running. The song, Light Up the Sky by The Afters was playing. Here’s one of the lines:
So I'll run straight to your arms
You're the bright and morning sun
To show your love there's nothing you won't do,
nothing you won't do.
I thought of the picture on this post…..not remembering until just now that it is where I first wrote about secret life. Cool.
So I’m going to quit being sick of myself, and my family, and anyone else who has the nerve to annoy me. Instead I’m going to be sick of the attachments that confuse and steal from the precious gift it is to love and be loved by God.
“Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.”
Psalm 106: 44-45 ESV