Yesterday was a bad, bad day. And it was the most frustrating kind of bad day: the kind where nothing goes wrong so there’s nothing to blame. A bad day needs a bad guy, but this day was totally innocuous – in fact, it contained more good than bad. And yet, at about 4:00 I texted him and said, “I’m feeling so…bleh.” He texted back that he was feeling the very same way and didn’t know why. Also, yes, we text each other inside our own home and I’m not sorry about it. The cloud hovered through dinner and well into bedtime – we just could not shake it loose.
Brief topic swerve: There should be some kind of law against both spouses feeling down on the same day. Or God should have wired in some bad-day safety valve or something so there’s SOMEONE to save the sinking ship. End of swerve.
Cliff prayed for us as we drifted to sleep and asked our good Father to give us peace, but also to give us some insight as to what was making us feel the funk in such a deep way.
This morning, I got up with the sun, seeking coffee and Jesus and answers. I’ve been going verse-by-verse through Colossians (a fully-stocked treasure chest if ever there was one) and ran right into this brilliant beacon of a verse:
Reading this verse was like flipping on a light switch in a dark hallway. I remembered the things we talked about yesterday: News surrounding the pandemic, the rioting in our city (we had a fatal shooting on Saturday), the online arguments of people who annoy us, the upcoming election and the responsibility of the Church in the midst of it all. We also worked to build a solid plan for homeschooling an 8th-grader while staying faithful to our jobs. Turns out, there is a whole universe of worry-stirring things surrounding us, so even though nothing technically “went wrong” in our day, we are feeling the symptoms of soul sickness. The strife and chaos of our world has been building, churning and slowly seeping into the deep places of our humanity, messing with our peace and stealing our joy. Our world is toxic with anger and anxiety right now and those who want to live free of it will need a really good gas mask.
For me, Colossians 1:15-16 was exactly that. It was the filter I needed to 1) reveal my unhealthy dependence on an ordered world and 2) move me back into an utter dependence on the goodness of Jesus. Every seat of power, realm of government, principality and authority – EVERY one exists through Him and for His purpose. I can trust Him with it or I can worry about it, but I can’t do both.
Today, trusting Him looks like trusting Him – but it also looks like:
- Limiting the flow of toxins from the outside world to my interior world.
- A fresh commitment to gratitude throughout the day.
- Seizing some intentional minutes to meditate and take runaway thoughts captive.
The stuff our world is facing right now is no joke. I believe it’s possible to be healthy in the middle of all the sickness, but it won’t happen accidentally. If you also feel suffocated beneath the weight of it all, I encourage you to pick three things you will do today to care for your soul and safeguard your joy. I promise you’ll be glad you did!