I have found that in the times where things seem desperate and my heart is a bit downcast, it is in those moments that I am drawn to listen to myself. Listen to fear. Listen to doubts. I sit and listen to the chorus of voices that compete for my attention. It is in these times though that I need to listen to something else. I need to listen to a good word. Instead of listening to myself, I need to talk to myself. Stay with me on this.
SiftingPoint highlighted an excellent piece on this theme from Chris Poblete at Servants of Grace. When things get rough and life gets a bit weary, it is in these times that we need to hear from someone other than ourselves. It is in the moments of despair that I need to tell myself what I need to hear.
Let me ask you a question. If and when you sit idly by, what voice do you often hear inside of you? It’s usually the emo one, right? It’s the fear voice that tells you to get your life in order all at once or not at all. It doesn’t tell you to take one thing at a time and get your act together (fear is schizo like that, as Jon Acuff points out in START). It doesn’t tell you to start praying early in the morning, and then build in an exercise routine, and then add in healthier friendships. No, the voices are often crippling and destructive. That’s why we need purposeful words spoken into our own hearts.
Something that I use when I am down is to quote passages from the Psalms to myself. My Psalms class at Fuller Seminary convinced me that the Psalms are meant to be used as a prayer book for the people of God. The emotions, raw and real, are there and frequently touch on everything from joy to sorrow. It is in these personal times of preaching to myself that I am reminded who God is, what God has done, and what he has pledged to do.
Dear reader, when you get knocked down, look to the hills. For that is where your help will come from. It will come from the Delivering God himself.Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5