Earlier this week I believe that I was confronted with the first outright attack by Satan since the new year began. I knew it would come. It always does. I had been praying a hedge of protection because I knew that Satan would present a scenario, most likely, that would drive me to eat.
But as the weeks have gone by, God has been making me stronger. Little by little, I have discovered that things besides food pop into my head now when life gets a bit hurried. Or should I say harried!!
But this week presented my first truly all out spiritual battle. And you know what God did? At the very same time that the incident was happening, God was sending a devotional reading to my inbox that was exactly about that incident.
Let me take you a bit deeper in.
Someone I love a lot suffers with depression. It is mostly under control and God is a shield and protector for this friend on a minute by minute basis. But every so often, something gets the best of my friend, and control becomes pretty impossible for some time; sometimes just a few hours, sometimes a day or so. But God is gracious to always get feet back on solid ground. I am so grateful for that.
Words spoken out of the pit of despair are often not words that my heart does well at hearing. And try as I might, I have not figured out how to just let them roll off like rain. They sink deep and cause a lot of pain. So where pain was deep and help was needed, God sent a John Piper Solid Joys devotional reading that He knew I would open first thing in the morning.
“Words for the Wind” began with this verse- “Do you think you need to reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?” Job 6:26
Oh my goodness, I had no idea what that even meant?? Had I ever even taken note of that verse?? The first thing I did was look the verse up in a dozen different translations on You Version. Job had just sat quietly while his “friend”, Eliphaz, had gone on and on and on about what Job probably did to make God angry enough to smite him the way He had. Eliphaz even goes so far as to say, “Stop wallowing” (my words). But despite what seems to be wrong actions, Eliphaz is in deep sorrow for Job.
So Job says the above verse: Why do you feel justified telling me this stuff? And why in the world do I feel like I need to give you an answer when what you are saying is so nonsensical to my ears? (my translation, haha)
John Piper points out that “in grief and pain and despair, people often say things they otherwise would not say.” They paint a reality that is so much darker than it will be even tomorrow. But at the time, that is their reality. Piper says, “They sing in minor keys and talk as though that is the only music.”
When people hit you with words that are spoken out of a place of depression or anxiety or sadness or grief, let these words blow over you as the wind, affecting you for a short time and passing on. The person speaking them will awaken from their darkness and the last thing they need reminded of is the 25 reasons why the words they said to you were hurtful. That might be balm to our hurting souls, but not theirs. And if we practice doing unto others, I think we will see the need for silence.
Piper reminds me that “there are words with roots in deep error and deep evil” but unless they come from a black heart, you can assume they are colored more by pain and depression and despair than by any true evil root. It needs to always be our aim to “restore the soul not reprove the sore” because that would be the aim of love.
So the pain inflicted by the words of someone in a deep place of despair …well, they are not painless. They are very painful, but God wants us to focus on helping that other person pass through their hours or days of sadness more than He wants us focused on “our own little kingdom that we are self-appointed sovereigns over”…a well loved concept of Paul Tripp in his devotional New Morning Mercies.
Its all about that GRACE. And despite what so many stalwart believers like to say, GRACE is super hard to give out a lot of the time. Maybe I need more love. Well, I KNOW I do.
But, back to the friend and the words born for the wind and not letting them burden our souls and not bring them up again…I think to myself, “If I was burdened with the recurring sickness of a despairing or depressed or pained heart, I would want those who say they love me to pour buckets of grace on my head whenever it was needed. So, DO UNTO OTHERS. Period.
To end, a small blurb on my week’s eating and obedience so far. I have been praying a lot about exactly what to eat. I know that winging it does not work in my favor EVER. So for awhile, I think I am gonna do oatmeal with almond milk and some fruit cooked in it for breakfast. Cooked before work and carried with me. For lunch, a smoothie with Phood Meal powder, greens, and whatever else I might have. Dinner will be where I need some insight now. I want dinner to be “salady”…is that even a word? “Salad-y”. Because I want more rawness in the day. So I am considering going back to a “Salad Box” in the refrigerator at all times. If I put that together, I will take some pics and share. Super easy to set up, and if you can train yourself to keep it stocked, it is a lifesaver!