Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. (Psalm 55 v22)
It was shortly after Christmas a few years back, and I was feeling a little low. I wrote the following:
“I remember writing before being a Christian that I didn’t feel like a sinner – but somehow now I feel more and more like one! I’m moody and irritable, I’m gloomy, and when I’m despondent it’s hard for me to cheer up. I selfishly want someone else to cheer me up for me – and I tend to sulk. Then I realise this and think ‘well I’m not very nice am I! I don’t deserve God’s love’ and then I get depressed – and I think, ‘I shouldn’t be depressed, God’s forgiven my sins’ and that makes it worse – because I haven’t! and then I feel guilty about it – wallowing in self-pity! Pathetic isn’t it.
And then I think, ‘this is all I I I – what about other people. Pull yourself together, and cheer yourself up’. And then I think, ‘well isn’t this what God is meant to do? Well my faith can’t be very good because I’m still miserable’, and then I think ‘why do I have to keep thinking about these things – why can’t I just accept his love and let that be that.’
And how can I accept God’s love if I don’t do anything for him in return. So I have to relearn that I don’t win God’s love through works – but through grace ….. and I’m back up a couple of paragraphs!”
I felt a bit better when my wife couldn’t stop laughing as she read this. And then I prayed and ‘cast my burden on the Lord’. I asked for His help.
And what happened? Suddenly I found this conversation going on in my head – I was raising the points above, and instantly I’d get a reply! Something like
Me – “How can I accept your love?”
Reply – “Don’t be so stupid – you know I love you unconditionally”
Me – “But what do I do to deserve it?”
Reply – “Nothing – just accept it”
And so on for a little while, and then
Me – “is this me replying to myself or God talking to me”
Reply – “what do you think?”
Me – “but couldn’t I just have a little proof”
And suddenly I felt a very brief but extremely powerful emotion – I can’t really describe it. But suddenly I felt peaceful again. And I know again that God’s there ready to pull me up out of the next trough.
Thank you Lord for being so patient and so loving.