Diana Nesbitt

Always Go Deeper

The one thing you need when the winter blues threaten

onething

After a Christmas day with good family time like it seems we haven’t had in months, reality came rushing back with a jolt on the way home. An overfull crockpot of borscht (Ukrainian beet soup for those of you who may not be aware of this deliciousness) spilled over in the car, ruining my slippers and the evening. We traveled back to the house, back to life and its frustrations and struggles. The familiar hopeless and helpless gloom descended once again over us, and I could feel my heart sinking. I can’t do this again, I thought, remembering the heavy, sad way I felt for a good portion of last winter. I am not ready to feel that way again. None of us can take this anymore. I felt something slightly akin to panic creeping toward the edges of my heart. After having the holidays to look forward to and a nice day with family, I wasn’t ready to be slammed back into discouragement and hopelessness. I was ready to plan a trip to Florida the next day.

But, before my dread could grow, God reminded me of the lesson I had learned last winter. Faith. Faith is what’s missing.

Faith is the only thing that can bring us through a hard, bleak season of life. {tweet that}

I remember I was sitting on my bed as the realization hit me: I have no faith. Oh, I had faith in God and knew that He was good, but I had no believing faith that He had good things in store for me and my family, that He was actively working on our behalf. Unlike David, I wasn’t certain that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

On Christmas night, I remembered this. Being unwilling to go back to that dark place of weak faith, I chose to believe. I chose to believe that God was good and that He has good things in store for me and my family. I quoted Jeremiah 29:11 to myself: “For I know the plans I have for you- This is the LORD’S declaration- plans for your welfare, not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”

Strangely, though we were still dealing with the messes of the evening and I was trying not to be disappointed that Christmas was over so quickly, I found my heavy heart lightening. As I purposed to trust God’s plans for my family’s future, I couldn’t help but begin to find things to look forward to. It felt strange to not be bound under the weight of hopelessness, but it was good.

The next day I had another opportunity to exercise faith in God’s goodness. My friend, whom I haven’t seen in a year and a half, was in the area and was coming over to visit for a bit before we went ice skating with her husband and sister. I had stayed up late many nights in December, and the previous night was no exception. Weary of pushing myself to rush around, I wasn’t feeling like moving quickly that morning, and after taking a few minutes for Bible study I had very little time left to get myself and the house presentable before she came. Frustration and anger were setting in, and as I rushed around vacuuming and cleaning up after the dog, I found myself reverting to the same old anger at life I had felt so many times this past year. It was happening again. I had a chance to spend some time with a friend, and because of the surrounding circumstances, I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it. I was (and am) sick of that happening. I was frustrated, and I was angry, and in the midst of that my conscience pricked me.

Just because things don’t go the way I want them to doesn’t mean God has suddenly turned against me. I realized. He’s still working things out for good, even if I can’t see them, and it demonstrates a lack of faith if I lose all my hope just because things don’t work out sometimes.

“Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD,” The Still Small Voice whispered in my heart. “I can’t stand still physically but I can spiritually,” I decided, and put the morning into God’s hands. I finished getting ready and had time to put myself together and eat breakfast before my friend arrived. Unfortunately it was having a minor car accident that caused her to be late and gave me more time to get ready (I’m not sure how to figure that one out…I didn’t want more time to get ready at my friend’s expense!) but thankfully everyone was okay.

As it has happened every time I choose to stop freaking out and trust God, He didn’t let me down. He never lets us down when we put our faith in Him. Things may not always work out the way we expect or desire, but God is always working on our behalf and for His glory. Oh the joy we could have if we’d always remember that!

When we really trust God, not to be our genie and do what we want Him to do, but to be a loving God who is always working things together for good even if we can’t see or understand His ways, He will never let us down.

So when the after-holidays blues threaten and life seems as bleak as a winter sky, hold on to faith. Make the choice to believe that God is always working on your behalf. Be like Job and Joseph and be faithful to Him, even when to all appearances He has forgotten you. He hasn’t.

faithisreailty

3 Comments

  1. It’s easy to trust when things in life are going good. Harder when we go through difficulties. But it’s in those times when we most often see His hand – leading us. Guiding us.

    Blessings!

  2. Thanks for this good reminder. Many times I find myself feeling frustrated and resentful about the circumstances of life. I may not complain verbally, but I catch myself sighing a lot or even closing doors or drawers with unnecessary force (what Ma in the Little House books called “wooden swearing”!). One thing God has been teaching me is that when I grumble and complain — even in these nonverbal ways — about the circumstances He has allowed me to be in, I’m really complaining against Him. Jeremiah 29:11, which you shared, is such a perfect verse for this. We need to trust His sovereign hand over our circumstances, even when they look out of control, because they have never been, and never will be, out of His control. God is in complete control, He has a plan, and the plan is good.

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