Messages have been popping up in front of me the last week or so. They seem to be tying back to the idea of deliverance. See that? The word of the year keeps following me around and showing up. Coincidence? Maybe a subtle reminder and a slight nudge on the shoulder that I have work to do.
For he will deliver you form the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
Breaking this verse down and delving into the meaning of each word opens my eyes more to the refuge that God is. A snare is a "trap for catching birds or animals" and a fowler is the person who sets the trap, who hunts for the birds. I would say that this is a pretty accurate description of what Satan is trying to do in our lives. He is setting traps for us to fall into, to see if we will take the bait. How are we responding when faced with a snare? Are we leaning on the Lord for knowledge and help or are we responding using our own knowledge. I know that in my life I have a tendency to respond quickly with words and actions. I give little time for listening or pondering my response. Each day I am faced with a snare and how I respond can change the trajectory of the day or my life!
Luckily when we place our life in God's hands he is willing to save us from the snares of Satan. He will heal us form the "fatal epidemic disease" that haunts our life. This pestilence or disease could be a laundry list of items: not attending church weekly, not letting God lead, a physical or mental ailment, lying, adultery, the list goes on. When we turn away from Satan and to God he will guide us away from this disease. We will be able to rejoice in the house of the Lord. We are assured several verses later that no evil should be allowed in when we are in his dwelling place.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place -
the Most High, who is my refuge - no evil shall be allowed to befall
you, no plague come near your tent.
What reassuring words we are given! He is a good Father! A saving Father! One who will protect us when we seek him and live out the life He has planned for us!
Today I am angry and frustrated. I don't know the real reason why, but part of me feels like people feel sorry for me. They feel sorry that I have to walk this difficult road. I would agree that it isn't rosy, it isn't a walk in the park, but guess what life isn't easy. I don't believe that when we are following Jesus and the promptings of the Holy Spirit that life will always be easy. The one thing I do know through all of this is that I find my rest in him. I have too. I have to give him the glory in it all. The good, the awesome and the downright cruddy.
As a sat reflecting on these tough feelings today I focused on verses from chapter three of Proverbs. Much of this chapter emphasizes trust in him. When we trust in him, our help will come from him.
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
When we take on the challenges in our every day are we taking the path that we want or are we taking the path that He wants? Are we taking the time to listen, observe and acknowledge the promptings that he is giving us? I know that I am very guilty of forging my own path at times. The reason that this path becomes more well traveled than I would like is due to me leaning on my own understanding.
When I relate this to my struggle with a mental illness I know that much of my sadness and darkness comes from my past when he wasn't number one in my life. When I strayed from the path. There were days before recommitting my life to Christ that were filled with bad decisions and heartache. This heartache has a different feel now that Christ is at the helm. In the song Shoulders by For King and Country the lyrics speak beautifully to the fact that he is here to help us when we let him help us.
"My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders"
For King and Country. Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. Warner/Chappel Music, Inc., 2014
As I wrap all of this together I know that I still have work to do. I still need to open my eyes and heart more fully to him. I know that I need to do a better job of recognizing his path over mine. I need to listen to his promptings. I need to continue to pray the Prayer of Jabez.
When it comes to mental health, let us cast our worries on him. Let us lean on his understanding. If you are on the outside and think that you know someone who is suffering don't second guess the promptings of the Holy Spirit when he sets a path before you. It might be hard to reach out to this individual, but open your heart. Pray for this person. Don't every be afraid to reach out to this individual through email, text message, phone, or a shared meal. This touchpoint could be a positive turning point for them.
My prayer for all of you is that we may listen to the promptings from the Holy Spirit and remember that we all have a path forged for us as long as we leave the understanding up to him. So don't feel sorry for me. Pray for healing of those who are hurting, listen to the prompts and share love.
Today was a BIG day. Today was a day that I made a commitment to myself to truly get better. To officially start kicking postpartum depression to the curb. By official I mean I am seeking help from a counselor. I've waited too long in this fog and I am ready for it to start to clear. I know that this isn't going to be easy. It most definitely won't be fun, but it will be worth it.
I can look to the Bible for reassurance. In the past week I have submersed myself in the bible like never before. Each day I am taking the time to open up this wonderful book and surround myself with the story of the King who gave so much for all of us. In the book of Psalms we see that we should give him our worry and our strife as he will always keep us afloat.
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalms 55:22 ESV
No one else has made a sacrifice like he did. Who else do you know that says "cast your burdens" on me? Our parents, spouses, siblings, friends, and counselors surely don't want to see us suffer and hopefully they are reaching out to help us on our journey, but they should not need to carry our pain, strife, fear, worry, etc. They will walk through the dark hours with us but we are not to cast these burdens on them. A counselor is someone who I can share my history with and in my case be counseled by in a Godly manner. I believe this is what HE would want for me. HE gave so much for us to give it all to him. When we are seeking help let us seek it from the one who can provide it to us. Again I look to Psalms for this reassurance:
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes form the Lord, who made the heaven and earth." Psalms 121:1-2 ESV
I could repeat one part of that verse over and over. "My help comes forms he Lord..."
So I will leave you with this, a reminder to run to him.
God bless, Lisa
I'm Lisa, a farm wife turned city slicker. A child of God, wife and mother. I'm a dreamer relying on God's grace to get me through.