This week, we’ve talked about learning from David’s coping pattern. Yesterday, we touched on some maintenance principals, but are you in it now? Right this minute, are you on Normandy Beach? No matter which direction you run, bullets tear at your clothes and skin, wiping out your battalion and leaving you alone—you try to shoot, but the enemy is everywhere. You want to shut down, to bury yourself somehow. Listen to my voice now.
You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone. First of all, straighten your neck. Find your chest—it’s probably making itself easy to find, heart pounding or clenched like a fist. Pull your shoulders back and take a long breath. Not just a deep breath, a long one. Count to 4 while it’s entering your body. Count to 4 while you let it out. Do it one more time.
Breathe First, Talk Second
Express yourself to God, out loud or on paper. Some way that your feelings don’t remain unnamed and unaddressed and ricocheting inside your head. God can take it. Jesus forgave those guys who had just spent all night beating him and then nailed him to the cross. He can forgive you for fussing in frustration. Before you finish, remind yourself of one thing God has done for you or one promise you are claiming and choose to trust Him, even if you hurt too badly to feel it.
There are times when bad news just keeps coming, or when depression makes any movement hard. Allot yourself a specific time to rest. Spend that time nurturing yourself—not beating yourself up, resenting someone else or fretting. When your thoughts go in those directions, clip the strings on them and let them float away while you return to resting. Don’t expect yourself to be completely void of thought, but find a verse or quality of God and keep returning your thoughts to it. You might take a walk or a nap in the process, but don’t confuse sleep with rest. You’ll be more rested if you stay conscious during this time. I love the gentle rhythms of this worship mix. If your mind can’t take any words right now, here is a beautiful piano mix and a pretty violin-piano combination. Make sure Be careful to pray for God’s guidance and to compare every teaching to scripture.
After praying and taking a short rest, you might need some Israel & New Breed to get you moving. Even if it seems like nothing you do makes a difference, get up. Do one thing that you know is good for you. Set a timer if you need to, and do it for 20 minutes—the first 10 minutes is just a warm-up. If you feel internal resistance, if you have to whip yourself into gear, pause for a second and clip the string on that attitude. You are doing what you can right now, because this is your life and you get to move. You won’t let any enemy freeze you in place. If the devil can’t get us to do outright wrong, he often aims for locking us up so we can’t do anything at all. Inertia destroys lives, so move.
Give the Order
If you haven’t been taught about spiritual warfare, it might sound freaky, but follow me for a second. If there is a righteous, loving God, there’s an unrighteous devil. Say it with me: “Devil, this isn’t your life. This is mine, and I’m God’s. Get out of here in the name of Jesus.” Ask God for a hand up and thank Him for being your Protector and the One with the plan. I wouldn’t devote any large amount of time talking to the devil when you can be talking to your Creator, but Jesus’ own brother James said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” James 4:7 NKJV. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room and let him squeeze you into a corner. Show him the door.
I’d love to pray for you more specifically, so feel free to send me a message here or on Facebook. For now…
Lord, thank You for being our constant companion. Sometimes it’s hard being human, but we trust You to show us what we need to see, when we need to see it, to provide for us and to make Your presence known to us as we spend time with You. Help us to stay aware and to respond to Your guidance, in Jesus’ name. Amen.