The past several days I was kinda spinning out of control spiritually. Everything that could go wrong happened. At the house, we had a leaky bathtub faucet ($80 fix from the plummer), then the next night the reverse osmosis faucet is leaking all over the counter and under the sink ($80 fix again from the plummer plus a new unit to be purchased, plus fingers crossed it didn’t mold under the sink), our sweet black lab got either a spider bite or an allergic reaction ($85 vet bill) plus our poor girl has to wear the cone 😦 Work has been crazy busy. And then yesterday, I come back to the office after coffee with dad and my ear starts feeling like I have had it up against a boombox for 4 hours on high. Tons of pressure and LOUD ringing. I was done.
I had been struggling for days with some things. I struggled with my identity in Christ. Mostly, I felt like I was being hypocritical. My tongue is something that I don’t know if I will ever corral. James 3:2-12 doesn’t give me a ton of hope here lol (read the whole passage too please, especially if you struggle with your tongue),
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
I struggle with this. Sometimes I’m just rude and I don’t even mean to be. I’m just fallen. Sometimes I’m grumpy. And I regret it. All of it I struggle especially with this feeling that there’s the me that everyone sees out in church and friends and all these people, and then there’s the me me, the one under my skin, the flesh that I wrestle with every single day. I got to a point where I just did this audit on myself the past week and I was like, I’m a jacked up hypocrite! And on top of that, I deal with anxiety!
I’ve been pretty popular with the kiddos in kids ministry at church lately. I was getting lunch with my uncle who had a heartattack the other day and he came back to Christ strong and started telling me about how I’m an inspiration to many. And I’m like, whoa, hold on, if you see anything good in me, it’s all Jesus. Things have been going good with others and I just keep feeling like, hey, it’s not me!
I struggle here. I don’t want to be seen as one person and be a fallen version elsewhere. I struggle a lot with this identity issue. So much that lately a week hasn’t gone by that I haven’t seriously considered giving up serving at church. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. But I’ve soldiered on.
I knew that Jesus was trying to talk to me here. For days. And I blocked him out. I turned on the music on the commute. I wallowed. I was sad. I was exhausted and tired. I wasn’t coming to him to be refreshed.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
I got this ear infection yesterday. And it put the brakes on. I went home. I lay in the tub, the hot water all around me. I was done running. I had been begging God to take away the ringing in my ear. I sat up, the jets pushing bubbles up around me and killing the noise of the ringing. I sat on my knees and just worshiped him. I accepted his forgiveness (which is critical, we have to accept his forgiveness and move on) and I moved on. I got over it. I’m jacked up. Ok, we all are. I have Jesus, who covers me in his blood for the redemption of my sins. That’s not just a tag line. It’s workable. It’s usable. When we are messed up, struggling, when we truly can’t hear because of our spiritual tinnitus and our bodies are aching and tired, our brains are shot, we can get rest in him.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful
I gave thanks to him in the tub, thanking him and praising him and loving him, even though my flesh had had enough. I was ready to worship.
It changed everything.
Sometimes our hearts are, if we are honest, screaming for someone to STOP ME PLEASE!! Mine had been doing that for days. God loved me too much to leave me there in that pit I had dug out for myself. So bam! Ear infection.
I am so much healthier today. I can hear fine. The ringing is almost completely gone, the pressure too. I’m joyful and I have his peace 🙂 Oh I love Jesus so much. I think I fell in love with him a little more since yesterday.
I know toxic smoke will still pour out of my soul and my lips for many days to come, but I know that my identity is in Jesus. I am an image bearer of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, destined to marry him and be one with him forever. That’s my identity. And sometimes the spiritual warfare gets so intense, we get sidetracked. But God is our Savior and he will always come for us.
Hope you have a beautiful Friday and weekend! You are SO special to Jesus, he ADORES you!! Don’t forget it 😉