I can’t fix it, change it, or make it go away;
It’s here to stay,
to run its course
for better or worse.
What do we do with things that make us sad–especially the cloud bringers that we have no power to affect? What if it’s something important, life-changing, or dangerous, and I have no responsibility or control? But it’s on my mind constantly and robs the minutes, hours, and days of sunshine and energy.
I’m in that place right now. My days have been cloudy and my nights are endless hours of darkness with eyes wide open.
Today, I said, “Enough.” Wallowing is not working for me. It’s not doing anything except dampening the quality of my life and raining on those who interact with me.
Wallowing in the blue acid of sadness has the same caustic effect that Mark Twain attributes to stored anger . It etches “Kilroy was here” on our insides. And that means that Kilroy–more aptly named Kiljoy–is still here blocking the sunshine. And I long for a good, prolonged laugh.
So, I’m wrapping my blues, bottling the caustic stuff, and sending it up the conveyor belt of prayer to the Ruler of the World. He is the one with the power, the mercy, the love, the strength to affect change. It’s his job, not mine.
My job is continue to recognize its blue hue in my otherwise sunny days, to repackage it, and resend it as often as I need to. So, I’m practicing the process of basking in the sunshine for when I–thoughtlessly or intentionally–reverse the conveyor, pick the bottle up to cradle in my arms again, and it leaks blue rain. Kiljoy is back for another visit.
Here are a few of the “scales of trust” I am practicing hourly, day after day, to beat the blues.
- “Samuel then took a large stone and…named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” Samuel 7:12
I’ve written “Ebenezer” on a stone that I carry with me all day and put on my bedside table at night.
- Listen to and sing along with music that reminds me who is in control, such as:
- Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw
- How He Loves Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzfPHnoT0-0
- Hold Me Jesus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEkLONA7yAE
- Visualize sitting by a mountain stream that is singing its song at my feel and breathing in the mountain tree smells, and listening for God’s voice in the gentle breeze in the trees. I name my sadness, pour its injurious essence back in the bottle, reseal it, and place it back in the Living Water to be carried to the Ruler of the Universe.
Do you see how it works? All I have to do is choose.
I choose to trust in God, to believe that he is in control. Here’s what he tells me:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)