And I knew, even though I didn't feel like it, I needed to start the road to recovery. Which meant opening my Bible and really seeking God. Just like when you start taking medicine, the effects aren't immediately evident, but that doesn't mean you stop. So I opened my Word and dug in. I wrote last Wednesday's blog and one sentence I penned stuck:
We don't serve our feelings, we serve our God.
Now please don't misunderstand, I know there are truly medical issues that can affect our feelings and thoughts. Depression is real as are other mental diseases. Those aren't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how too often we give up when the rush of feelings we expect to encounter doesn't immediately follow. Oh, sometimes God works that way, but sometimes he wants us to keep digging in, keep seeking him, and to believe the feelings will follow. Sometimes he wants us to step out in that knowledge and faith and put feet to what we know to be true.
So I read my Bible all week. Knowing where the word virus had started and wanting to reclaim my thoughts and footing, but not really feeling any better. And then Friday I came across Psalm 43:
You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
A couple of things stood out to me all at the same time. He is my stronghold. His light and his faithful care lead me. The desire to be in the place he dwells. He is my joy and delight...and then, finally, to praise him.
When David talks about his soul being downcast, he immediately leaps to praising God. All week I'd been reading my Bible, but I had not spent one moment in praise to God. I felt too distant. I felt condemned...unworthy. Now, there is such a thing as conviction that is accompanied with the voice of Truth. It's not always fun to hear, but you know there's truth in the words, and you can work toward change. But when words are served with an overwhelming feeling of condemnation, chances are they weren't spoken in truth and you need to seek God before moving in them. Had I immediately done that, rather than letting the word virus fester, I doubt I would have found myself where I was; even though I'd already decided I didn't want to serve those feelings, in cutting off my praise that's exactly what I was doing.
there...lives are changed. Thoughts are made new. And healing happens.