The winter stretches out before us here in Minnesota – long, gray, and frozen.
The other day I stopped by to visit a young friend who’s in a dark time, a very wintery time.
She feels overwhelmed, and anxious, “not enough”, and scared.
Everything feels so hard and she’s tempted to look at all the sparkly, easy-breezy lives on Facebook and despair that she alone is struggling to adapt to a new season.
I know this feeling. I’ve been there.
It’s in these vulnerable times that I picture Satan chuckling with glee.
What are some of the lies the Enemy wants us to believe when life’s hard?
- You are alone. No one has ever felt this way, reacted this way, experienced this fear. And conversely, everyone else has it ALL TOGETHER.
- You are weird and weak. You’re just not enough.
- You have done something wrong. You are a terrible parent/wife/employee/friend. This hard thing is a consequence – pay-back for some cosmic mistake you made.
As Christine Caine says, “The devil is a liar…but he’s loud!” In the hard times we sometimes want to close our eyes and cover our ears and cry. I’d like to suggest a couple other possibilities today and Wednesday.
We have something here in Minnesota that people in warmer parts of the world (read: just about anywhere else) might not be familiar with.
There are long rods attached to all of our fire hydrants so when the snow gets too deep, we still know what’s beneath – something solid and dependable and helpful.
I’d like to suggest some “rods” for the times when you’re anxious, scared, or overwhelmed.
You may be tempted to say “Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah, just more words.” But these are Words, that over time, will strengthen you, just like the lies of the Enemy, over time, will weaken you.
The following may not help how you’re feeling right now, today, but if you hold onto God’s Word, and lean into it as the solid, dependable thing that seems buried under your anxiety, it will make a difference. **
- You are NOT alone. Jesus said,
“Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”
So there’s that, but also we’re here with you – your brothers and sisters who are monumental messes, all dependent on the grace of God.
2. You may be weird and weak, but we all are. You are enough, because Jesus in you is enough.
“My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely.” 2 Cor. 12:9 Phillips
Comparison may be the one thing that reinforces the Enemy’s lies more than any other. Comparison may be your biggest temptation and the thing you need to run from the most. (My friend has banned herself from Facebook for awhile – smart move!)
3. Yes, it’s possible, just possible you may have done something wrong, but maybe not. And even if so, nothing is beyond God’s power to redeem and make right.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Is.43:1
Hard whispers “You can’t, you aren’t, you won’t…” but Jesus says “There is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate you from my love.”
**If your anxiety or depression is debilitating, please see a doctor and/or a counselor. Supervised medication may be part of God’s provision to get you back on track.