(Laughing in the Rain (c) Greything via Creative Commons @ Flickr.com)
Walking by faith. It's sometimes easier said than done. I love my church. Have I said that lately? I don't go to one of those "feel good" kind of churches that perks you up so that you can have a good attitude for a week and then come back for a refill when the feeling wears off.
We have some light messages, but the vast majority of them are designed to convict you and point you in the direction of living more Christ-like and less narcissistic and selfish. The lessons are also heavily centered on responsibility -- personal responsibility for your circumstances, and responsibility as a steward for everything you have dominion over, which would be... well, everything if I read the creation story right.
So, it's been a long week. No particular reason for it, but I seemed "off" most of the week. Sure, there were some long days when I didn't get home until late, but that's nothing particularly new. No, it was more a "feeling"... you know, those things we aren't supposed to live by. At one point early in the week, I realized that I felt like crying for no known reason. Nothing was wrong. Just felt, well, depressed.
This morning Pastor Tom taught a very good lesson on the gift of the Holy Spirit, and how when Jesus left, he was able to send us the Holy Spirit, another comforter identical to him, to help us. One of the things he focused on was praying in the spirit in order to edify, or build ourselves up. A good word for me after last week.
Then tonight, Susan talked about the Battle of the Mind. She started right in with a possible thought of depression that you don't get rid of that grows. She used the analogy of plucking up a sapling instead of letting it grow. "If you think watching your thoughts is tiring, try pushing over an Oak tree."
I have a confession to make. I lost the battle this past week. And a lot of it was over the weather. I have checked the weather forecast religiously, and groused about the lack of rain in it. I have taken photos of the 5 day and 10 day forecast and posted them on Facebook. I've complained about the heat. I've complained about the way things are turning brown.
I've focused on the problem, and not the solution. And I know better.
On the way home from church tonight, I popped in a rehearsal CD from our Praise and Worship Team. The song "Nothing is Impossible" came on, and I sang it at the top of my lungs 3 times on my way home.
Through You I can do anything
I can do all things
'Cause it's You who gives me strength
Nothing is impossible
Through You blind eyes are open
Strongholds are broken
I am living by faith
Nothing is impossible
I'm not gonna live by what I see
I'm not gonna live by what I feel
Deep down I know that You're here with me
And I know that You can do anything
I believe, I believe
I believe, I believe in you
Great song. Great message.
This past week, I have been living by what I saw... from my environment to the weather reports, to the conversations that I started or joined in or added to. I have been living by what I felt, from my emotions to the temperature. What I haven't been doing is living by faith.
You know, Jesus told us that if we had the faith of a mustard seed, we could speak to a mountain in our way and it would cast itself into the sea.
I know that in God there is no big and little. But, somehow I have an easier time believing I can speak to a rain cloud and have it obey than I can a mountain.
I haven't been speaking to my circumstances, I have been speaking about them.
That stops today.