This is something I nervously anticipated when I started my journey to draw near to God: How will I do this during the times when my mood and emotions fight me and try to steal my hope? This time, God used it to give me new comfort about my identity in Him.
Yesterday, I felt as if I was not in control of my mind and emotions. My mood swings were so intense and my crushing, defeated feelings so real that I felt like I didn't fully know myself. I was asking God, feebly, to rescue and stabilize my spirit, but it all just really felt beyond my understanding and control. These feelings, combined with dissatisfaction with my job and no leads yet on a job in Colorado, left me feeling aimless, like I had no purpose. I had been dwelling for a few days on this thought from My Utmost, though, and it was resting in the background of my mind:
Worship is giving God the best He has given you. ... Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. ... God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others (Jan. 6).
These words have given me excitement about sharing God's work in my life through this blog and about some experiences recently in which God has used me to speak encouragement through His Word to someone else. But, in the midst of my emotions and a long day at work, I didn't feel the excitement. But late last night, I got an e-mail about my blog that reminded me that God is using me to encourage others. God, You are so great! When I was feeling useless, You reminded me that You are using me to accomplish Your work. Your timing is perfect!
This morning, my favorite Psalm gave me comfort about the frightening feeling of not fully knowing or understanding my own spirit and emotions. The comfort is: It's OK if I don't always understand, because God does. Nothing about me is too overwhelming or confusing for Him. He doesn't look at me, mid-mood swing, and say, "You're too much! I give up!" He is calm and sticks with me no matter how chaotic I feel. In My Utmost, Chambers paraphrases what he thinks is the idea of Psalm 139. I will paraphrase him further:
You are God of both early mornings and late nights, both mountain peaks and sea floors. But, my God, my soul can be brighter than morning and darker than the night. My soul has higher peaks than the mountains and deeper depths than the sea. You are the God of all of this, so be my God. I can't reach the heights and depths of my own spirit; there are motives I can't trace, dreams I can't interpret. My God, search me out and know my heart!
Psalm 139 has always been my favorite Psalm, and now it reminds me that I shouldn't fear the depths of myself because God knows me perfectly.
O Lord, You have searched me and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
you know it completely, O Lord.