Is It Well With My Soul?

wall-hanging

I was perusing through a department store trying to escape my emotions. Honestly, I wanted to feel numb, even for just a moment. I slowly walked through each aisle capturing words on decorative wall hangings. One of them caused me to take a long pause. It read, “It is well with my soul.” I asked myself if that was true for me. The answer was no. No, it was not well with my soul. Life had been feeling difficult. Goals out of reach. Loneliness and depression setting in. Things happening out of my control. I wanted it all to be well with my soul, but it was not something I could magically make happen. As I continued my perusing I found myself surrounded by words of encouragement on these wall hangings.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…

Love bears all things…

Amazing grace…

God is good…

Faith…

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…

Choose joy…

Be still and know…

You get the picture. I chuckled because I was not in a Christian store! Here I was surrounded by God’s Word causing me to think and address some of my emotions.

Have you ever felt things were not well with your soul?

Have you ever felt your purpose or goals were out of reach?

Have you ever felt confused by your emotions?

Me too!

I know that God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33) When I find my joy gone, and my soul in a drought, I go back to His Word. His Word always speaks clarity to what I am struggling with.

Back at home from the store, I began my daily reading in Deuteronomy and God brought to light something so simple and yet profound. It is found in chapter 30:11,14

“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”

Let that word wash (or spoken from my true southern dialect “warsh”) over you for a moment. Read it again.

Now, receive this next truth that only God can accomplish. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you.

He will be with you.

He will not fail you or forsake you.

Do not fear or be dismayed.”

If what His Word says is true, and I believe it is, then why does it ‘feel’ like it is not? It is because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

The enemy (Satan) wanted me to be numb. He wanted me to not address what I was experiencing. But God wanted the opposite for me. God surrounded me with His truths, His promises, His commands, and drew me into His Word in Deuteronomy. He was pursuing me, letting me know that things can be well with my soul. I needed to focus and acknowledge that He is sovereign, He goes before me and yet never leaves me, and what He is desiring me to do is not too difficult.

What He is desiring you to do is not too difficult!

We can trust that if God has planned it, He will do it. (Isaiah 46:11b)

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

It can be well with our souls no matter the battle we are in. There is no storm that He cannot calm, nor any depth of despair He cannot pull us from. Let praise be on our lips for His word is in our hearts, and ever so near to us. As we trust Him with what we are trying to escape, He will work all things out for the good.

 

 

 

 

He Set My Feet Upon A Rock

Feet on Rock

Have you ever felt depressed? Have you ever felt like you were in a pit and unable to pull yourself out? I have been there. Not just a pit…but a pit with quicksand at the bottom! I have felt like I was in a pit, and when not in a pit it was like walking through quicksand.  In the pit I felt alone, depressed, and honestly…I wanted to camp there for a bit.  I wanted to be alone. I was depressed but I wanted time to nurse the wounds of my heart. I wanted time alone to process what was changing in my life.  At times sitting in the pit is easier than being outside of it. Being out of the pit meant expectations to perform…to thrive…and that is not the relief I desired. My pit was its own form of “hell” but, at least, it was something I could control.

If you want to be in a pit and you still have expectations on your life, you have to cope. You have to put on that “plastic” smile…but even that is difficult; not to mention, you cannot hide it from those around you who know you. They see that something is off…even slightly off.

The problem with the pit is that if I stay there too long I will begin to feel hopeless. The enemy’s lies start to sound like the Lord’s truth. Slowly but surely…I will begin to decay and ever so subtly…I will wither away.  Scripture reminds us that while a joyful heart is good medicine to the soul a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22).

I found myself in one of my “pit events” one morning as I was getting ready for the day. There, on the bathroom counter was my Scripture Stand. On that little 3×5 card were these words:

 “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” (Psalm 40:2)

The verse spoke of something already accomplished…a completed action. (When you’re in a pit of your own choosing, a verse like this is like a dart of love shot from the arrow of God’s heart right to yours).  As I chose to consider the implications of this verse, my perspective began to change.

The psalmist reminded me that God already brought me from a deep pit of destruction long ago, and my current pit did not compare to where He had already delivered me from. God had already brought me out of the miry clay that was like quicksand choking the life out of me.  God had already set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm even to this day.

That last sentence opened my eyes to see that I was actually standing on a rock firmly planted.  I embraced “the pit” because my emotions were raw. I was tender. I was pitiful. My emotions led me away from the truth. The TRUTH is that (positionally) I had been lifted from the pit! I was not a captive in my self-designed prison. I was lifted out but living AS IF the quicksand had a hold on my life.

This “Ah Ha” moment renewed in me a heart filled with praise to God! My God does not do something “half-way”; rather, God finishes what He begins. He did not start to set my feet on the rock…He did it!  Now as this truth welled up, the praise spoken of in the next verse simply poured out:

 “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:3)

You can only REJOICE when the Living God rescues you from a dark place that has crushed your spirit and dried up your bones. A joyful heart of praise must rejoice!

My heart repented from striving to work through this time alone without giving it all to God.  Instead of pulling away from Him I needed to draw near to Him, knowing that He would draw near to me. I needed be still and remember that He is God. I needed to acknowledge that when I run to Him, my God will pick me up, dust me off, and restore me to Himself as He places a new song in my mouth.

Are you in a dark place…maybe of your own choosing? Perhaps you should recall THAT TIME when God helped you. Ask Him to speak to your heart and open your eyes that you may see through His eyes. Recognize the completed work of lifting you out of the pit and setting your feet on solid ground. He has not changed.

You don’t have to stay in the pit if you draw near to your Deliverer!