Saturday, October 04, 2014

When You Feel Dried Up

I have a question (in the form of multiple questions):

What do you do when you don't know what to feel? Or when you want to do good, but it all falls flat? What do you do when you try so hard, and yet you finish feeling dry and cold?

     Sometimes, life is just....nyeh. You want to do something, but you aren't motivated, so you don't. And you don't feel any better for not doing it. It's kind of like waking up.

     First you hear: "Good morning! It's time to start the day, make your bed, clean your room and feed the dogs." Your eyes open, but the rest of you is asleep; wishing and begging to stay that way. You try to sit up, and your pillow says "no! come back!" and the blankets reach up and grab your shoulders and force you to lay down again. You may try once or twice more, but you're stuck. The one thing that will make those blankets let go is the sound of footsteps in the hall, and the booming voice of your father saying, "I trust that you are doing what I told you to...", at which time the blankets not only let go, but physically kick you up and off of the bed to go running around catching up with the day as fast as possible.

     In real life, it looks like this. Deep down, you want to live the LIFE, you want to smile, you want to love everybody, but the flesh says "No. I want to be selfish. I want to snap. I want to sleep. I want to complain. I want to live my life MY way. I want, I want, I want.....", and the world around you welcomes you to do so. When that happens, what do you do?

     Due to my own humanity, I will not be answering this question. Well, I sort of will, if processing counts as answering. We have all been in that place where we know what we should do, and we know God's enough, and we know all the Christian answers, etc. etc. But still we feel dried up and tired at the end of the day. Personally, I've been through this SO many times, that I fully expected to have it figured out by now.....lol. But every time it happens differently, and usually there's a new lesson that I'm needing to learn, so there doesn't seem to be one strait answer to this question.

     However, there are always some constant truths that will be there for you to fall back on, and I think they are worth taking note of:

1. God loves you. (1John 4:16, Isaiah 42:10)
    ....even when you are being an outright lazy bum of a person, and you know it. He understands wanting to give up and stop trying. Don't confuse this with Him being fine with your behavior, but remember that the whole point of redemption is that God is constantly aware of you, thinking of you, and loving you; ready to give you another shot at it, no matter what you've done to not deserve it. This is a constant. His love never changes. Don't be discouraged by your discouragement, because he sees YOU, and he won't love you less for your struggles.

2. The Bible Gives Hope and Encouragement (Romans 15:4).
     This is sometimes a tricky constant for me, because even though I know the Bible is God's truth, I don't always know what to read or how to apply it. But in that time where you feel dried up, it is the spring of life, so read it anyway. Sometimes, I read and feel like I'm not getting anything; no understanding, no peace, no nothin'. But it's not always about feeling. The fact is, the Bible is God's Word written directly to us, and it is not to be read to "get something" out of it. It's not a magic charm to make you feel better. But it is wholesome in a crazy world where you want to give up. It is beautiful when your life looks faded. It speaks love when you feel that your love for others has run out. So fill your mind with it. It is always good.

3. God Listens. (Colossians 4:2)
     I get it. Sometimes, praying feels pointless. If God's in control of everything and knows what's going to happen, then what's the point in praying? Especially when I don't feel like it? But the fact is, prayer is much more powerful than we like to give it credit for. And on top of that, the Bible says that we should pray. Prayer is relational. If you want a wholesome relationship with God, then share your heart with him! Don't give me the "He knows everything anyway" excuse, 'cause it's LAME. Of course he knows everything. Fact is, he gave Adam and Eve a choice in the garden, even though he knew they'd disobey him, because he wanted to give them the opportunity to choose him. It's because he's relational. It doesn't matter that he knows you already, he wants you to choose him, and share with him, and it does make a difference. You don't always have to say anything. But if you take the time to enter his presence and open your heart to him, he doesn't ignore you. Even when you feel like you can't even care, he is delighted when you invite him to be part of your life anyway. And he listens.

4. It's normal to feel like this. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
    You are not a failure just because you aren't "on fire" every moment of your life. :) It's part of life, and it's imperfection that makes your life beautiful, because it creates room for God to come in and make it so.

     These are just places to look to when you need help. Ultimately, it isn't anything you do that's going to get your fuel tank above empty. It usually takes hearing those footsteps in the hall, or a helpful hand opening the window to let the light in, or even getting ice down your shirt, to wake you up in the morning. And like I said, there isn't just one resolution. But God is good regardless. He's the one who will help you when you feel like you can't keep keeping on.

As a last and final note, completely unrelated to this post, I would like to make you smile. :) Have a great week!!!