I don’t ever want to fall into the trap again, of trying to please others, even in the Body of Christ. I don’t want to ever try to earn the love and favor of God, like I used to, because it’s already mine through Christ. I never want to conjure emotions, or pretend to be excited in Worship, when in actuality, I just want to stand and listen to my fellow believers singing their hearts out to God, because that blesses me sometimes. There is an inner pressure to perform, that resides in each one of us. Like trained dogs we tend to sit, when told to sit, stand when asked to stand. Go here, there and anywhere that the Church we are in seems to go. But this is not what Jesus asks of us. Every THING is not for Every BODY.
Now I tell you all of this, because lately I have been struggling with all of the hard things going on for Bruce and I. It has drained us to the core and we are so weary, but we have had Christians says insensitive things to us in the past, like, “What do Christians have to be depressed about?, etc.” Well, a lot sometimes, a whole lot. I believe Paul was speaking exactly to this very matter when He said,
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4)
Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. So what is this “dying of Jesus?” In Strong’s it means, The Dead state, utter sluggishness of organs and bodily members.” I get this, my husband gets this. That feeling that you could just sleep for days. I have had some people tell me that they have never been, “depressed,” and I am really glad for them, truly. But I am not one of those people. Life hits me hard, real hard sometimes, and I just wear down in body, soul, spirit, and heart sometimes. I believe Jesus felt this way many times, and when He did, He went off alone to be with His Father, the one Person He could be completely Himself with. The Father is like that for us, too. Jesus tells us,
26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. (John 16)
Jesus tells us that the Father Himself loves us, because we love Jesus and have believed in Him. I can sense from the Lord, that He wants us to live transparent, honest, vulnerable lives, before Him, and before each other. So, if you’re depressed, than let us cry with you. If you are happy, let us rejoice with you. If you are mad at God because He didn’t answer a prayer, let us listen to you and encourage you. Life is hard enough, without the pressure to be more than we are, give what we just don’t have, do what we have no strength for. Sometimes, ” After the Calm,” comes a tremendous Storm that just knocks us off our feet and drains us to the dregs. Let us just sit with God, conjuring no fake smiles, no insincere PTL’s. Let us live honest lives before one another so that we can inspire others to live honest lives. “A Broken and Contrite Heart God will not despise.” God is, “The Father of Mercies and the God of all Comfort.” There is a time to laugh and a time to cry, and God is Lord and Savior of both. So, After the Calm, when that Storm comes, cry with us, cry with me, cry with God. He is our Comforter, Provider and Healer. He is our Friend, Redeemer and Strength. After the Calm, He is still God in the Storm.