Lately, I have felt uninspired, underwhelmed, vacant of creativity and just plain hum-drum! Ever felt that way? I suppose so. I don’t know that any of us are immune from the pendulum swing into Blahsville. It just seems I got stuck there, like in the Twilight Zone or on a time-warp continuum of lack-luster existing. Worse, I felt like my spiritual eyes were becoming glazed over by the problems and trials whirling around me. Hope seemed shifty, and for days I was just adrift in ambiguity. God seemed at a distance despite praying and reading His Word.
No, I wouldn’t call it depression, although I suppose my intro sounds like I am feeling a little sorry for myself. Honestly, I don’t expect to live on the precipice of epiphany or inspiration; I might keel over from the shock. I was just at a loss about why I had been lingering so long in this state of apathy. I wanted to serve Him, love others to Him, share Him, but the words and opportunity wouldn’t come – at least, not in the way I thought would be best.
Through the past couple weeks, as I would think on my dim and dismal state, I asked God why my motivation was near melt-down. “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” would cross my mind. In the moment that song seemed so out of place and irrelevant that I would just shove it aside and concentrate on my predicament. But it kept coming back, “all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand”. Grrrr! It was irritating. I didn’t feel like singing it and I sure wasn’t getting the message of it… I really thought it was just one of those broken record, stuck-in-a-rut, music annoyances and hoped it would pass. It didn’t.
Turns out, God was using this frame of mind and hymnal prod to direct my attention to a personal weakness. A long standing, people pleasing, earn my keep, perfection driven, high expectation, do it out of my own strength kind of pride. Yup… Pride. I knew in the back of my mind that He was letting me know, straight up, that the only words that are worth their salt are His, not mine. That His timing, not mine, would reap the greatest blessing. I knew it, but I didn’t know where the root of my problem was hiding. Like a pea under my spiritual mattress, it was an irksome thing that had to be found!
One day, after another rendition of the words crossed the vacuity of my mind, I decided to look it up on the internet. Here are the words to that song that I so wrongfully suspected would be pointless in regard to my situation.
My Hope Is Built, by Eward Mote
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Funny how this song says NOTHING about measuring up to what other people think or expect of me, or if I work hard enough then God will approve of me. Instead it reminds me to wholly lean on the Name of Jesus.
Finally, the Lord let me see. Maybe it was because I finally cried, “Uncle!” or maybe He was getting tired of my whining. But He let me clearly see that I was getting my identity from the wrong source! While I knew my identity in Christ, I continued living as though I believed my worth came when I was doing enough (in my own mind) and pleasing others. Instead, my merit and value need to come from that deep knowing that I am His and He is mine. Nothing else matters. “He wants our significance to come from using our God-given gifts to serve Him, but not from specific accomplishments within that service for Him.” (Pastoring with Passion by Dr. David Holt)
I am the daughter of the King! A Princess in the court of the Most High! And such a wonderful Father could not pass up an opportunity to call attention to that disruptive little pea under the mattress. That irritating lump would surely fester and frustrate, and interfere with what God has in mind. You see, it would keep me from fully resting in Him, and when we don’t rest, we don’t grow. Spiritual Beauty Rest is indeed what we find in the presence of our Lord once we hold all that we are up to Him and surrender.
Even when I don’t feel it, I must trust what God says in His Word: my cup runneth over (Psalm 23:5), and it does because I am justified in Him (Romans 5:1) – completely free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)! Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (emphasis mine).” It is not our job to do, He who began it will complete it! We get to rest in the privilege and blessing of being able to participate (as He directs) and witness His majesty and creativity. Those lean moments that come, are wholly used to drive us to His lap of love, remind us that all good gifts come from Him alone, and the only true significance is found in who He says we are. He is all we need. Say it with me ’cause it feels so good, “He is ALL I ever need!” Amen, Sister! Forward march!