When your spirit’s crushed, your vision dimmed and you’re sure your tank is as dry as a Kansas driveway in July, to have someone look you in the eye and say, “I believe in you” is often the difference between getting back up and no one ever hearing of you again.
Very few of us reach adult years without life hammering us. It’s the stuff of real living, and every one of us has our stories.
- “I don’t know how I made it through; looking back, it seemed impossible then, and still does.”
- “I figured I was dead. Period.”
- “Never saw it coming. Just suddenly everything we had was gone. Just like ( finger snap ) that.”
- “I had no idea where to turn, what to do. I prayed, but inside I was sure we’d lose everything we’d worked for.”
- “My job was keeping us afloat. I lost it. I’m old enough nobody wants to hire me. Nothing else to say.”
On and on the accounts go – real life drama, and every one fraught with The Flirt. I’m so tired of fighting, of trying to persevere against what seem like greater and greater odds. I’m tough and have survived so much, but right now I’m just worn out from the constant struggle. I’ve done everything I could think of to do, tried every means I could think of to turn things around. It’s not that I’m unwilling to call on God. It’s that I’ve always believed I need to do my best before hollering at Him for help. . . . “Well, God? I’m there. My back’s against the wall and I feel the lions’ hot, fetid breath on my neck. I need Your help. I need it now.”
I’ve got your attention, don’t I?
Eye contact makes a surface-level connection saying, “Yeah, I get it.”
Spirit contact reaches down into the basement, lifting up that old, stained brown-and-blue-and red carpet, raising that metal door and dialing the combo that opens the door into the safe of your soul.
Some of you are reading this and saying out loud, “How could you know what’s—- like, know how I’m feeling right n—-?
I’ve been there. I know what it is to have immediate needs with no earthly way to meet them. I understand how it feels to feel helpless. Like everything I’ve tried to do is circling the drain. Unuseful. Of little or zero worth.
I know how it takes a steel rasp to your gut when you’re doing everything you possibly can and it’s never enough. You skate out on the thin ice of health, right out to the very edge, trying to make a difference, like maybe – just maybe this time, just once, it’ll have a happy ending and you can relax and smile.
I know how that works especially on a man’s heart, how it grinds his spirit and esteem into a pasty, disgusting sausage. With hair in it.
I know staying there is a lethal mistake. So I never did. But, oh yeah. I’ve been down there. You can see my buttprints.
Saul of Tarsus – yeah, that guy who became Paul the apostle and wrote a lot of what’s in the Bible’s New Testament – has again and again given me the juice to get back up again.
“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. . . . And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:11-14, 19)
I’d like to tell you that no matter what I’m facing, reading over that passage just helps me settle right down, every time. I’d like to tell you that. I would.
It’d be a lie.
Not always, no. But often. And every time I have remembered to take The Bible at face value and brought its teachings to bear on whatever impossibility I’m facing, God’s always come through.
I’m not saying He hasn’t scared the snot out of me a few times with His timing. I’m saying God has always been faithful to me. Based on that track record, I believe He always will.
You know I’m pretty good at reminding you often that I love you and believe in you. Right?
Well, in times like what I’m describing, it’s like God’s wading right into the middle of the deepest part of whatever’s threatening to sink me and saying to me, “I love you and I believe in you.”
I’ve no idea what this latest chapter is about in your story. I do know this. No matter what it is, how tough or hopeless it may seem, if you’ll follow my suggestion to spend a little time in The Word, you’ll hear The Voice saying it to you–God’s mouth to your ear:
“I love you and I believe in you, too.”
© D. Dean Boone, November 2015