I'm going to talk about something strange, and personal.
The past month or so has been strange. I'm constantly exhausted, and have a persistent headache that only lets up when I'm able to get a good amount of sleep. But I'm not sleeping well lately because nearly every single night is riddled with nightmares.
Cap that with the fact that I'm working with some unusual people and it's imperative that I be the influence on them and not the other way around. I've been in some unusual situations and odd conversations in the past month an a half that leave me questioning my ability to handle "the world". I long for a safe little cocoon of innocence that doesn't use bad language or talk about inappropriate things.
Cap that with a very obvious absence of Spiritual Inlets - if I can get away with calling it that - a wish to have some kind of church family again. A place where I can go, see the same faces, pray for the same concerns, and listen to someone I respect teach, and to worship with other people that I know.
It's like I'm getting drained and it's harder and harder to fill back up.
But, while you might not relate to the crazy inability to sleep due to odd nightmares, you might relate to the latter feeling. Needs, things, life, all sucking away at your resources and you're not sure where the strength is going to come from for the next battle.
So I want to tell you a story I've been going over and over and over lately. It's only 6 verses, but I'm going to paraphrase it some so hopefully no one skims scriptures...
1 Samuel 30:1-6
David and his men were returning to Ziklag, only to find that their town had been burned, and their wives and children had been taken away by the enemy.
And when the men saw that their wives, sons, and daughters had been taken captive they lifted up their voices as wept until they had no more power to weep.
They wept until they had no more power to weep.
Two of Davids wives were taken, including the much sought after Abigail wife of Nabal.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
David encouraged himself in the LORD his God
Too, too often we wait for someone else to come along and encourage us. We call up friends and family and pastors and deacons and Sunday School teachers saying "help! I need to be encouraged" and while we should encourage one another - we also need to have that ... umph ... within us, the knowledge and power and foundation within us that rises up and speaks to our very soul and says "Soul, I trust in the LORD."
It's not a phone call away. It's a breath. It's just a moment, a whisper away.
So the next time your pastor isn't available for the 3am phone call, or you get bad news and want to talk to your really spiritual friend; encourage yourself in the LORD.
I know how my troubles will end. I don't know when, and I don't know what all will happen, but I know ultimately I'm going to come out of this odd period of adjustment and struggle with a stronger faith and far more practiced at encouraging myself than I ever have been before. I'll be closer to God at the end of this. I'm not even worried about it anymore.
I know I have been bought with a price and I belong to my Redeemer.
I am secure.
Not one sorrow will ever change that.
So quit waiting for other people, and begin speaking your words of faith and courage to your Soul. Speak out. Speak boldly.
No weapon of the enemy will be able to destroy you. You know how it will end.