Sometime near the end of last week, I had a crazy, rough day. By the time evening came around, I felt borderline insane. I’m a problem solver, but the issues I had come up against that day were maxing out my little mental motor. I was on zero, and I could feel the last bit of my spiritual battery draining. With a depressing grind, everything within me that was faithful and trusting of God came to a halt.
For a while, I paced the house. I scrolled through social media – which was no help at all. I tried showering. I went through the refrigerator and discovered that my brothers had cleaned out everything good. My head felt like it was going to explode, and by this time, I had about 25,000 journal entries drafted in my head. I locked myself in my closet with my bible, my journal and a pen…and the war began. Should I journal the chaos in my mind first? Or open my Bible – something I probably (no…definitely) should have done hours earlier?
It was a battle for me. I was exhausted and soul-sick. I had huge problems looming over my head that I wanted answers to. I had already had my usual, morning quiet time that day and it felt elementary and somewhat dry.
In that moment, I thought of King David. I knew he understood what was going on in my mind. I believe God filled His Word with the stories of fallen, human beings because He knew we’d need relatable content. I decided to read several, consecutive Psalms, and journal afterwards – but trust me, the whirlwind in my mind was screaming “NO!” with all the ferocity it could muster. My flesh almost didn’t want to be quiet. It almost didn’t want to calm down. In a twisted way, it wanted to figure things out ON ITS OWN.
A lot of you know what I’m talking about. Isolate, divide and conquer. Make it through and emerge with self as the victor yet again. It never lasts.
As I dug into Scripture – reluctantly and maybe even resentfully at first – the storm in my head slowed to a drizzle…then a rainbow in the clouds…then the sun came out. I don’t think I left my closet until almost 11:30 that night. I never did journal – I only ever got around to writing down verses that jumped out as I went along. But my heart was quiet when at last, I turned the knob on the door to go to bed.
I had had to run up the hill to the cross when I least wanted to.
Did I have answers as I fell into bed that night, exhausted and worn out? No. Had my circumstances changed? Absolutely not. Were all the people I cared about where I wanted them to be in order to have peace of mind? Without doubt, they were not. Yet, as I drifted off to sleep, I realized what it meant to cast one’s burdens on the Lord. Most often, we want to hog our burdens because we don’t want to need help. I am a self-doer. I don’t like to ask for help. That’s something I’ve had to learn slowly, the hard way. But there is a peace that the world cannot understand that is found in telling Jesus our troubles. He doesn’t always take them away. But more often than not, we discover in the midst of them that it is not the trouble that is disturbing us as much as it is that we have not been walking as closely with Him as we should have been.
By: Hannah Stelzl
Photo Credit: Flickr