For a new job. To be noticed. For the next stage of life. On the healing. For the apology. A thank you. For finances to fall in line. The pregnancy. On a new season. For the much needed break.
Standing at the sink washing dishes the other day, it occurred to me that I felt exhausted - for no reason. I'd slept great. I'd already had my morning jolt of coffee, I'd personally "bested" a lift at the gym the day prior, and I had nothing to complain about.
And yet, hands plunged into the soapy basin, I debated succumbing to a midday nap. I was worn out, mentally and emotionally, when a single verse came to mind:
"He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One..." (Dan. 7:25)
Do you ever feel worn down, seemingly for no reason that you can pinpoint?
Do the thoughts in your head swirl round and around, until you're convinced that you could sleep for a week straight?
Sluggish. Checked out.
We discover here that an enemy doesn't have to decimate an army to take it out, it only has to distract the opposing soldiers from their mission, sapping energy away from their purpose and motivation. Spiritual barrages commence as exhaustion, confusion, lack of concentration, and negative self-talk.
We have a choice to make in those moments about what we believe. We have to pinpoint exactly where we've placed our hope. Is it on a position, a circumstance, a person who needs to come through for us, or on God, Himself?
It reminds me of a concept as old as time: the self-fulfilling prophecy. While I admit the stories of the Old Testament can be just plain strange, there's a story from 2 Kings that I'm reminded of this week. Here's what happened:
"Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
"Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.” Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped.
The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”
Elisha was a prophet to the kings. He passed along God-messages as he received them. Some messages were predictions spoken in foresight, others spurred action in those he counseled. He was a man of big faith - tested, troubled, and found faithful over the course of his life. It's no secret as to why he became so frustrated with Jehoash, who wasn't believing for enough. What Elisha understood back then, still holds true today:
Whether you believe you can or can't, you're probably right.
"Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment." Matthew 9:22
All things are possible, if only we believe...
Hang onto that promise as tight as you possibly can.
With you and for you,
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.