Adam and Eve had a discussion with a snake. It wasn’t brutal, it wasn’t scary, it was probably an ordinary day, looking around the garden, having a chat (Gen 3:1.) Jesus was tempted in the desert. We get the impression it was quiet, relaxed, smooth talking and lots of questions. No threatening, no forcing, no scaring, just talking (Matt 4.) I am convinced that the most vicious, damaging, soul-destroying forms of evil come not from ghoulish creatures who need holy water and Latin phrases shouted at them, with heads that spin out of control, or even half dead monsters that we see in some of the coolest TV series around, evil comes from the small lies that try convince us on a Monday morning, that we are not good enough. That life isn’t good enough. Everything is pointless and meaningless (Eccl. 1:1)
This morning was one of those mornings. I woke up feeling that I have failed my girls, my beautiful little gifts from God, I felt that I haven’t spent enough time with them, that they are starting to drift away, get caught up in stuff in life that’s not the best for them, and I didn’t like it, I felt a bit panicked. I then started feeling like I’ve failed Mel, she’s so great with the girls and keeps things together, and I just grump around sometimes. I felt like I am failing our church, not doing the right things, not saying the right things, missing the boat sometimes! Anxiety creeps in, thoughts of inadequacy and memories of letting people down in the past just flood on in, like they have an open invitation. It’s so easy to entertain these thoughts and freak out, or share with others for a bit of self-affirmation, or panic a bit more and try escape them, or even start the blame game! (Mel has awoken to me blaming her for the most bizarre things, the latest I think, was that our laundry basket was broken, and then I feel bad for blaming her, and it goes around again…)
The point is that it’s virtually impossible to see these thoughts and feelings for what they are. Lies. If I doubt myself or I doubt God, the downward spiral begins. Of course I’m not perfect, so where do I go from here? For me, when a wake up with a twisted knot in my stomach, I turn to Philippians 4. Verses 6 & 7 are simple, but clear. Just hand it all over. Praise, prayer and peace. The great thing about Gods peace, is that it doesn’t have to be related to circumstance, and peace brings back perspective.
If these little lies were huge vicious man eating problems, I could throw them at the foot of the cross and pray like there’s no tomorrow, but they aren’t. In the greater scheme they seem like little things, but Philippians is clear – “don’t be anxious about anything…” So are you letting the lies get you down, or are you letting Gods peace cover your heart and mind?
Phil 4:6-7 “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”