Can I be honest? My heart is fickle.
It rises and crashes on a dime; buzzing for joy in one moment and sinking with discouragement the next. It usually isn't triggered with one major incident but a string of small annoyances, little interactions that build under my skin and weigh on my mind. Opposition, untimely words, unwanted circumstances, unmet expectations, uncomfortable situations, - these are the pellets in what seems as the usual shotgun spray that hits me, and leaves me frustrated. They come one by one but end up piling high and weighing much.
What can I do to battle the ongoing barrage?
Well, when I try to resolve it on my own, I end up overthinking and underproducing. In other words, I get caught in my head, sitting in my own frustrations, attempting to justify the emotions, pinning me against the world. I end up hurling more weight on my soul, more pressure on my heart, more stress on my mind.
As you may have guessed... it doesn't help.
So what can you do when your heart takes the sudden dip? What can you do when you feel overwhelmed and helpless? What can you do when things get under your skin and into your soul?
My advice? STOP.
Just stop thinking. Stop analyzing. Stop justifying. Stop replaying.
You and I cannot give the antidote for the disease we have, ourselves, perpetuated.
It isn't until I can get outside of myself that I finally can see clearly.
My work, my efforts, my thinking only work to intensify the problem.
I have to see things as Jesus sees things.
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this LIGHT, MOMENTARY affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen." [2 Corinthians 4:15-18]
Talk about PERSPECTIVE SHIFT.
The quicker I can learn to trust the words of Jesus and lean into stress, anxiety and frustrations with this perspective - the quicker I will thicken the walls of my soul. I must take my eyes off of the things I can see and put them onto the things I can't see. The Gospel says that affliction and pain and trials and frustrations are LIGHT and MOMENTARY. They really aren't all that I make them out to be. As I said earlier, left to my own devices, my heart is easily overwhelmed. But, with the Spirit of God infusing hope and perspective into my soul - I have a way out, a cure, a lifeline! The Gospel is a constant source of good news in a world of tragedy and hopelessness.
O my soul, rest in Jesus. Do not expect to find life and comfort and peace in this world. Expect to find your rest and joy and peace in Jesus, in His saving work, His perfect life, His atoning death, His future rewards! O my soul, these are small compared to the greatness of your God. O my soul, do not be discouraged, this is light and momentary compared to the glory of God - the glory that I will one day fully embrace!