I was in the bathroom while attending a Christmas party with old and new friends.
Battling sadness over a recent family crisis, an old familiar temptation arose–to believe the lie that these women’s lives were so more blessed than mine–that God loved them more than He loved me.
Shame attempted to bully me while I was alone in the bathroom with “not good enough,” “all your fault,” and “your life’s an unredeemable mess” taunts.
But God’s voice broke through shame’s harassing whispers.
“Feast on My faithfulness” was the bold declaration I heard.
In my mind, I saw a banqueting table lavishly spread with food representing all that God had done in me and for me.
Next came a warning: “Don’t mourn over what’s not on the table. Enjoy what’s there.”
I received my bathroom truths and went out to truly enjoy time with these caring friends. Gone was the shame and self-pity that threatened me.
We went around the room giving prayer requests, and I briefly told of my situation and was prayed for. Then I basked in the laughter and joy of being loved by this group of women.
This episode reminded me of how often I am tempted to focus on what’s missing from my life rather than all the ways God has blessed me.
When I got home a verse I had read lately came to mind: “Many evils confront the (consistently) righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 AMPC
Other verses have for the word evil: afflictions, problems, distresses, troubles,
I saw that I tended to focus on the evils that bombarded me ie evils that were a result of loved ones rejecting God or forsaking a close walk with Him.
God urged me to go to part two of the verse: “The Lord God delivers him out of them all.”
I began to list on paper what God had delivered me from:
-severe depression and suicidal thoughts
-dependence on alcohol
-numerous health problems
-an obsession with trying to be in control
-shame based self-loathing
-bitterness toward my parents and others
-countless perplexing circumstances
I realized the list could go on and on.
Much of what came to mind were sins God had delivered me from. This gave me a peace that He could also deliver my loved ones from their sins.
During this holy season, I’m determined to feast on God’s faithfulness and maintain an attitude of gratitude for all He’s done for me and all He’s delivered me from.
As far as the “evils” that still confront: God is not finished yet. And He is still able to do above and beyond all that I could ask or think in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. (See Ephesians 3:20)
These things I know for sure:
God’s faithfulness is firm. His love for me will never change despite changing circumstances. He is always with me.
These are three excellent reasons to maintain joy this Christmas season.
Song selection: Great Is Thy Faithfulness sung by Chris Rice