Music Monday: My Portion & My Strength

Dear friends,

It has been a day here. I’ve been debating whether or not I should talk about it – and I land on yes, because maybe…just maybe…you have had one of these days, too.

It hasn’t been an external battle but an in-the-heart kind of struggle…even while still being so grateful for everything in my life, I have felt unsettled today. I’ve run short on patience and frustration has come quickly, whether with our sometimes-working dishwasher, the apple juice I spilled all over the counter, or with my kids. I haven’t felt that internal peace that keeps me centered and focused…usually I try to stay present in the moment, my eyes on the long-term and not on the right this second situation…but today, the doing-things-but-not-getting-anything-done syndrome that sometimes plagues all of us is bringing me to the sit-in-the-floor-and-cry-while-pulling-my-hair-out syndrome. I have wavered between insecurity and fear, self-condemnation and regret. And, of course, since I know that I really have no reason to be out-of-sorts – and all of the things causing me irritation are truly inconsequential – I have felt guilty for all of the above short-comings. Which makes me feel worse. And brings on more of the waterworks.

It’s not a pretty cycle, y’all.

What do we do when we get caught up in a day like this? How do we stop the cycle?

The only way I know to find victory over the ‘I do what I don’t want to do and don’t do what I want to do’ battle that Paul describes in Romans 7 (which, honestly, he could have written specifically about me today) is by falling on our knees, God’s Word in our hands, our hearts yielding to His. When we are in trouble, we cannot delay coming to Him – we must throw up our hands and cry out for help!

Listen to what Paul says: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

When our emotions try to master us, when we are weak and unprepared for the spiritual battles we face – we must call upon God, who gives us the victory through Jesus! Listen, it may be nearing the end of this Monday, but it is not time to throw in the towel on this day. You may have had a rough day, a rough weekend, a week or a month or a year that has tasted like defeat – but it is not too late to cry out to God. It is not too late to pick up that shield of faith, which will extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. It is not too late to ask Him to steady your feet with His gospel of peace, to wrap His truth around your life, to remind you that His righteousness makes your heart secure. It is not too late to wield your sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and is mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Cor. 10)

Do not close your eyes tonight without knowing that you are set free from sin and condemnation – no matter what your emotions say, no matter what accusations the enemy sends your way. What matters is what God says – and He says that you are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom.3:24) He says that therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the laws of sin and death. (Rom.8:1)

We can struggle and we can have hard days – but, friends, we cannot quit because Jesus has given us new life in Him! Paul’s words speak directly to my heart again in Philippians 3 – But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

I don’t know what you are going through. I don’t know if your body or your heart is broken, if you are fighting a battle of the mind and will or if there are people in your life causing you pain. I don’t know if it’s a circumstance you can’t change or a problem that feels impossible to solve.

But I do know this – we serve a God who is good, a God who is mighty in power. We serve a God abounding in mercy, great in His faithfulness. We serve a God to whom nothing is too hard and not even one single thing is impossible. We serve a God who equips us to stand firm against the power of darkness, sin, and the enemy, every single day. We serve a God who cares about our struggles. He comes alongside us and empowers us through His Holy Spirit – He gives us peace that surpasses understanding and the fullness of His joy…joy that can’t be taken away, joy that gives us strength.

And through it all – through it all – (even when we feel most unloveable) nothing separates us from His love.

Listen, after this day of feeling (I’m borrowing Paul’s word here) just wretched inside of this heart and head, it is the pure gift of grace that still meets me when I fall on my face before my Father…and His grace will meet you, too, wherever you are.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one.

Christ Jesus who died – more than that – who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. {Don’t miss that wonder-full truth – our Savior, on these hardest of days, is praying for us!}

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:31-39)

Oh, may this truth be our hope and our confidence! May this be the joy that refreshes and renews us, that sets our feet dancing to the rhythm of His heart-beat. Our victory does not depend on us – but in whom we place our trust – the Savior who has overcome the world, the Lamb of God – Jesus – who has taken away our sin and defeated death, hell, and the grave!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The morning comes with new mercy. Let’s run on, friends.

Love,

Christie

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One thought on “Music Monday: My Portion & My Strength

  1. Is it your goal to make your mother cry???? 🙂 once again, beautiful and inspired. Thanks for being “real” in what you write. For sharing something that is all too familiar to many. You could have been expressing MY thoughts and feelings on many a day. Thanks for reminding us with the Word, of what we know we know. Love ya!

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