I am ashamed to admit that I have spent a lot of time wallowing in my own issues this last month! “Suffering for Jesus” is the phrase I used to make myself feel better, after all, am I not following Him and suffering in the process? I was “too tired” to read His word, and I was “too tired” to make any effort to do anything. Endless hours on Netflix watching Gilmore Girls and Downton Abbey was my way of escaping the “hard life” I was living. “Resting in Jesus” was another phrase that I used to justify this waste of time…
“You are NOT SUFFERING!!”, I heard this a few days ago! Very loudly!
“What, of course I am Lord, look at all of the hardships I am going through, let me give you a list,…etc….!” (with a whiny voice)
“Do I honestly need to show you what garbage you are letting yourself believe right now?”, was the answer. “Think about it, and tell me again how you are suffering!!”
Oh my goodness! The shame! Looking into my heart I could see what He saw.
The “martyr spirit” was loud and cranky. My pride and arrogance was in control. I had been wallowing in self-pity and self-righteousness…as you can tell, it was all about the “self”. Why wasn’t God telling me, through others, that I mattered, and that I was special and had a specific purpose? My ego needed to hear that on a constant basis, and it wasn’t being fed.
How did I get to this place?
Pride. Letting go of my “warning signs”. Believing the enemy and his lies.
I spent most of the fall and early winter writing about my journey through depression and therapy. Having hundreds of people reading that and getting feedback was a heady experience. I started believing that I was something else! Finally I was doing something for Jesus. Inside my head I would say, “oh, I’m so grateful that I can help someone,” but deeper down there was pride saying, “finally, you are being noticed and you are so special! God is going to use you for something big!! This is just the beginning!”
The warning signs were there…”Watch your heart, and remember why you are doing this!” I knew that I was writing about my experiences to be able to stay honest with myself. I was tired of the hiding and surviving behind the smile, and letting others see that journey was cathartic. But then I got complacent in my pursuit of Jesus. He was the reason I got to experience all that release and freedom, but I let it die off, because I started “suffering”.
What is suffering in our world? Is it really suffering when we have a bit of debt? Or have issues with the heat in our house? Or when we can’t afford to eat at a nice restaurant? Or can’t afford to buy a few extra christmas gifts for the kids?
hmmm! I really had to think about that…
Have to start again.
It’s a good thing that my Jesus has endless amounts of patience with me. I can just imagine His head shaking and the smile on His face as I “suffer for Him.”
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:12-14