A Lesson from Paul and the Corinthians:
Forgive me for my drama queen moment here. Occasionally I relapse into minor pity parties when my day crests into an exhausted evening from too many activities, responsibilities or just the lack of feeling like I accomplished anything in the midst of it all. Today, in particular, was not one of those days (thank the Lord for that!); however, it seems like I’ve had a lot of those pity party evenings over the last month or so where I’ve struggled to fight off the urge to self-implode.
It isn’t for lack of giving it my all or trying each day though. I truly know that I’m working diligently, yet (or perhaps because of it all), I still feel physically, mentally, and emotionally spent most evenings. As the sun goes down, my eye lids begin to droop and my patience meter teeters on the verge of being empty. In those moments, my mind often wanders to the “woe is me” section of my mind and pulls out the card catalog files of my brain that consist of an abundance of pitiful past and present stories of my life. *sigh*
And, that’s when I know I need to reign it in. I need to remind myself that just because I may feel physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted (and often times even a bit like a hamster on a never ending wheel), that I’ve already won. My life is triumphant, though I’m weary, my life is worthwhile, though I feel down trodden and sometimes scattered, my life is purchased and paid for at a steep price by Jesus (Galatians 2:20).
Instead of turning inward and looking to my past and present “woe is me” stories to console my weary mind, body, and soul, I remind myself that it is time to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In that same chapter in 2 Corinthians, Paul also tell us that we have “divine power to demolish strongholds” and do not live by the standards of this world or fight with weapons of this world. Obviously no pity party necessary.
But those feelings, those feelings of exhaustion, physical, mental and emotional weariness, they remain in my flesh at the end of the day. They are most certainly real. So what do I do about those? First, I don’t let them take me captive and steer my thoughts (okay so sometimes I do, if I’m honest, but my goal is not too!). Secondly, I realize that I am not the only one who has ever felt those feelings. Nope, a couple thousand years ago a wise and respected fellow follower of Christ felt some of them too and through the Holy Spirit, instructed us on how to handle those moments – the weakest moments when we want to lose heart, throw down a tantrum and have a big ‘ol pity party (okay so maybe Paul didn’t sway toward tantrums like me, hmm, but who knows about those Corinthians?).
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Fix your eyes! Look past your momentary circumstance – the weariness of the day, aching bones, drooping eyes, emotionally bonkers, demanding children, unappreciative friends, clueless family…or whatever piece of your life that pulls you into the mentality of wasting away instead of being renewed day by day. It isn’t that those things aren’t real in my life. No, in your circumstance today and maybe even tomorrow, they are, but you have been commanded not to lose heart in the midst of it all. Those light and momentary troubles are just that – light and momentary. Your gain, if you are a follower of Christ, already far outweighs them. You have already won, not of your own doing, but of a Savior who purchased you and your circumstance – today, tomorrow and forever (Colossians 2:13-14).
So, after a long, long day, that has no doubt worn you down to the bones and caused your head to spiral into drama queen mode pulling out file card after file card in your brain of grand pity party material…stop. Just stop. Set your eyes on the eternal. Take those thoughts captive. Close that file cabinet drawer and open God’s word. Breathe. It is light. It is momentary. That’s God’s promise and he loves you to the cross and back.
Until next time,
Managing Editor at Indoor Outdoor Space