Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a personal crisis that you could barely function? You couldn’t think and could barely eat? Your mind raced and you couldn’t concentrate? Well, that’s how I felt today each time I tried to read today’s chapters.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to put on a brave face in front of others, then go off to have a good cry in my bathroom. Well, today that good cry lasted so long that it took place in the bathroom, in the living room, and in the kitchen. Every time I thought it was over, it would start up again.
I tried on three separate occasions throughout the day to read and take notes about this prophetic book I’ve been enjoying thus far. I was eager to dive in deep today, but couldn’t control my emotions. So, I’d put it down, go do something else, have a good cry, then try again.
Resist the devil
Life gets in the way sometimes when you’re trying to operate by faith. The devil throws all kinds of distractions at you, trying to steal the Word from you. He tries to steal your joy, your resolve, your composure, your self-discipline, your consistency. And, he really tried it today with me.
But, I finally managed to make it through the chapters. Even though I’m sure he enjoyed watching me struggle through my crisis of faith, I just couldn’t let him win. And, although I’m really not up to writing tonight, I must.
We cannot ever give the devil what he wants, which is the complete loss of our faith in the Lord. We cannot allow him to drag us to the dark side. That’s when we lose. But, when we stand in faith, despite all the darts he throws in our direction, we win.
What latter days?
As for today’s chapters in Isaiah, I just find myself scratching my head through much of it. Maybe that’s because my focus lies elsewhere. Maybe that’s because my mind is foggy from being up all night trying to process this struggle. I wondered through most of the chapters what latter days Isaiah was talking about. Then, by the time I reached chapter 12, I realized he was referring to the post-exile period, when Israel returns to the Promised Land.
I’ve been tempted to search for explanations online, but I prefer not to be influenced by conflicting information. I prefer to be led by the Holy Spirit when I read the Scriptures, especially when I’m reading for the first time. I want my initial thoughts to be authentically mine, or better yet, authentically from the Lord. Building those lines of communication is crucial to a robust prayer life, in my opinion.
But, today this isn’t working for me. It feels like I’m just going through the motions. I’m overwhelmed by things going on in my life right now, and frankly, I’m having trouble holding fast to my faith. I’m having trouble refraining from asking God, “Where are You? Why hast thou forsaken me?” Especially since I’ve been humble, obedient, self-sacrificing, disciplined, faithful, and focused on the Word. Why is all of this happening?
When I can’t hear His response because of my own inner anguish, that’s when my husband always comes through with words of wisdom. He says, “Just because things don’t work out the way you think they should, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t working on your behalf. He might be trying to reveal something to you that you didn’t see before. Everything happens for a reason. You just gotta keep the faith.”
He’s so right. And, I’m so thankful that God gave me a loving husband who also loves the Lord. He’s the voice of reason even when I’m unable to hear. He’s the steady hand when my faith gets wobbly. He’s my gift from God. The God who has never forsaken me...and never will.
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