Life gives us many different looks and feelings, how we deal with those times, good and bad, are part of your Christian walk. Of late my life has been a bit down. My allergies are terrible, and I still struggle to get into a routine. For all who know me understand that I have in the past six months turned my life upside down; I felt called to do so. Compounding this issue, I am a man who likes routine. I have yet to find set times for prayer, for work out, for charity work, for study, and yes even for work. I am mostly putting in the hours on all of these things with the exception of a few, but without a routine, my life does not feel settled. I have bright spots in my life, and I have some low points of late, but average them all together and God is still blessing me with a good life. So why am I still fighting being down in the dumps?
We have three possibilities here.
- God is chastising me.
- The devil is after me.
- This broken world is, well, broken.
Lets look at these one at a time. Is God chastising me? First you might ask “does God do this”? Yes He does. When we are doing wrong, living our life against God, however minor the “against” might be, God will give us anywhere from a gentle nudge to cracking a 2×4 across our head to let us know we are off course. Just as an aside, I always used God’s call as a “holy 2 x 4” thinking it was just me. I run from God and do what I want until He gets my attention with a 2×4 across the head just to get my attention. For years now I have run into all sorts of people that have referred to their call from God as a 2×4! It’s not just me! That quiet voice inside will rise to raucous levels if we do not answer! The idea of God chastising us may anger some, but we need to look at it the right way. If God is bothering to discipline us, then He must love us and know that we love Him. To be chastised is to be cared for and know that we have not gone too far off the rails. So if life is uphill everyday we might need to stop climbing and examine our existence. Are we loving God and loving others? Is there something out there that God has been calling for us to do and we have been playing Jonah? Introspection is critical here, take a look at your life, make certain we are walking with God.
Second possibility, the devil is after me. This sounds scary but it is a good thing! If the devil is after you, he has not caught you! Fact of Christian existence (I should make a list of these) If you are in Christ, the devil will be after you. From the beginning the devil whispered into Adam and Eve’s ears and suggested to them that what they saw and knew was really not.
3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”
Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition (Ge 3:1). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
The devil has a goal to make us not see what is right in front of us. Adam and Eve walked and spoke directly with God and still were lead to believe the devil instead of God. How much easier would it be for the devil to trick us? In all the business of life, the devil pesters us. He has no power to make us do anything, so he whispers in our ear, “how bad your life is….wouldn’t it be better if you were somebody else, somewhere else, doing anything else…” The devil will try to make our own life seem terrible, so that he can step in and lead us away from God. This is the devil’s game, and if we know his tricks, we can oppose him, with God’s Word. If he devil is active in your life, go to church, go to confession, read your bible, the devil will flee.
Lastly, a broken world can cause broken lives. Face it, life will never be easy in the world, it is just too broken. Everyone has problems, we just don’t always see them. The answer is don’t suffer alone! Find a friend, talk to them often. We are prideful creatures, thinking we can handle our problems alone, and we can, but they take a toll. The more tired we get, the more likely we will succumb to the devil. God is a community of persons, three in one, the very reason why we should never shut ourselves away from communities. The church is here to help, take advantage of it, live in community!
So I’m down a bit. Am I following God? I believe so. Am I doing all I can to defend against the devil, I think so. Am I just experiencing a broken world, probably so. Prescription for the problem? Be in church all I can. Do works of mercy. Call my friends and have some long talks. Persevere, walking with God in this world is not easy, but God will not let us fail in completing His appointed tasks.