Nonchalantly, I glanced around the room, looking for a familiar face. The normally unconscious part of my mind took over as I scanned and my attention was stolen by a picture that looked out of place on the west wall. In the flurry of bright colored paintings of flowers, mountains, cabins and picturesque scenery which were all charmingly captured on canvas—the painting (that robbed my focus) was dark and uninviting. It was such a stark contrast to everything else in the room, including the warm reddish hue that covered the textured walls that I couldn’t help but be drawn to it.
I was acutely aware of the increasing intensity of sadness that seemed to rise as I kept looking at the image. It was odd to me as I found that the longer I looked at it, the more it demanded that I look deeper into the blackness…
That dark and moody piece drew me in. It was quite possibly an outward representation of an inward familiarity…a lonely place that I knew well. It was fairly simple as it held only a yellowish moon darkened by brushstrokes that were burnt orange. The smallish moon was the only light color that was on that art piece, the rest was a conveyance of the darkness of night.
The sounds of the room faded away and the emptiness of the black seeped into my thoughts. My breathing became shallower as I felt the suffocating gloom of darkness pour over me. Time was forgotten as I stared at the still painting. I could have sworn that the light of the moon in that canvas seemed to be eerily diminishing. Emotionally charged tears threatened to fall as the logical part of my mind struggled to gain footing in this mental wrestling match.
A younger child’s vocal disagreement snapped my mind out of the trance it was in and I abruptly and awkwardly dropped into a nearby chair.
I lowered my eyes to the ground to take my eyes from the offending art. Fully aware that I still physically felt the weight of my thoughts as if they were a heaviness that was now added to my frame. With definite alarm I reflected on the rapid takeover of my mind as I freely allowed my thoughts and mind to be open to whatever came.
Wow…that felt like such a dense flood of truly unhelpful thought, quickly clouding my contemplations. Was it reasonable or realistic…no. Was it useful and true…no. Did it bring about growth and encouragement…absolutely not…I needed to change where my mind was dwelling.
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him”
I know that my struggle today is nothing compared to the attacks of the past—however, it doesn’t make reading and reminding me of the true things any less important. In this moment, I do only what I can think of to counteract the door that I have left open in my mind—I start repeating things that I know are true…not giving anymore thought to the way I may feel about my situation.
Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”
In the core of me, I know that what I choose to believe at this moment will direct me.
God help me to believe the truth. Help me believe You in spite of how I feel and despite the things surrounding me in the moment. Help me to believe You when I know that my circumstances look dim and when there seems to be no way out of the pit that I’m in. Help me to know that when I don’t see a solution that I will find rest and favor in you. Help me to know that as I struggle to believe…you will help me overcome my unbelief.
Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Mark 9:24 “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”
God, help me to see and pay attention to when any thought or experience enter into my mind which are negative. Help me to counter those moments of uncertainty and pain with the truth of your word. Help me to remember that despite the way I may feel in the moment that my world will not fall apart and that you are my strength and my comfort. Remind me when I forget that I no longer have to just survive situations, but that in you I have the strength to rise…to thrive…to live in abundance.
Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Lord, thank you for my faith. Sustain it. Strengthen it. Deepen it. Don’t let it fail. Make it the power of my life.