If I could, I would eliminate last week from my memory. It was a week of loss, hurt and frustration. But if I could wipe it from my mind, I would also erase the important lesson I learned in the midst of it.
My mind is my greatest battlefield. For 25 years, I was told I was worthless, had no common sense, could never make it on my own, and would lead a mediocre life at best. My mother invested all her hopes in my looks. Others wouldn’t even grant me that much. All this while I lived the life of a classic overachiever.
For all those years, a big part of me believed it all. But when my life shattered into a million pieces and I lost everyone at once, somehow the lies started to fall away, and eventually I found myself buried beneath them. Finally I was free to view myself through the filter of my great Redeemer, whose thoughts of me are too numerous to count (Psalm 139:17).
Still, in occasional dark moments – such as last week – the lies return, and I hear those voices whisper of failure and worthlessness. A great weight cripples me, and my prayers struggle to ascend under the force of it.
One night last week as I lay in bed and opened my evening devotional, the words jumped forth with strength and breath, and weight immediately lifted from me. It was my thoughts, not my existence, that had had no worth.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8
Peace like a river flooded my soul, and I recalled another verse:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation. – Psalm 42:5
What a sweet salvation, and what a precious God! How quickly do I forget His grace and mercy to me!
Frustration and pain can give Satan a foothold in the battleground of our minds, and we must be outfitted with armor of God, not forsaking the belt of truth.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
Walk in the light, my friends, so you will not stumble in the darkness. Our redemption draws near. Our Redeemer is nearer.