I am in a funk. I feel weepy. I am angry. “Someone moved my cheese.” Ken and I were the happiest we have been, and now I am afraid things are changing.
God, what can you show me that will help me?
“He (Jesus) said to them, “My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying” . . . he fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible he might not have to suffer what was ahead of him. He said, “Abba! Father! You can do anything. Take this cup [of suffering] away from me. But let your will be done rather than mine.” (Mark 14:34-36)
Jesus had an anguish of soul so great, he had trouble finding the strength to stand up under it. His attitude was to ask for change, but if change didn’t come, he vowed to have the integrity to endure whatever God had for him.
Then all the disciples abandoned him and ran away. (Mark 14:50)
Someone moved the disciples’ cheese for sure! They had found what they and their ancestors had been seeking for years! They had the Messiah, the one who offered hope, the one who had the words of life. It was the best of times.
And then it was taken away. Their hope was crushed.
Both of these examples in Mark 14 remind me that life is counter-intuitive. What Jesus’ feelings told him he needed was not the same as what God felt was needed. What the disciples felt they HAD found didn’t go the way they thought it should.
In the same way, I think that I should be able to find “IT,” the place in spiritual growth where I will be happy. I don’t realize that this happiness is predicated on a set of circumstances — being surrounded by the right people, being able to share my faith effectively, feeling in sync with my husband, being able to build the church according to my specifications. I don’t realize that if any of these things get shaky, I get shaky. I don’t realize that the things I think make me happy are really what are holding me back.
It’s only God that can make me happy. It’s only having my roots so deep in Him that will give me stability. It’s not my circumstances.
Things are not going as I feel, with everything in me, that they should go. I am a person who relies on my intuition. There are times this is very helpful. But there are also times when my best intuitions lead me astray. This is one of those times.
Here’s something else I was moved to read —
On that very day, when the enemies of the Jews expected to overpower them, the exact opposite happened: The Jews overpowered those who hated them. . . . No one could stand up against them, because all the people were terrified of them. All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the king’s treasurers assisted the Jews because they were terrified of Mordecai. . . The other Jews who were in the king’s provinces had also assembled to defend and free themselves from their enemies. They killed 75,000 of those who hated them . . . ” Esther 9:1-3, 16
I told the story of Esther to my kids all the time as they were growing up. It was one of Celeste’s favorites. I usually think that the end of the story is Haman being killed, and a new law being passed so the Jews can defend themselves. But this week while preparing the Sunday school lesson for kids’ kingdom, I read the last chapters again and saw a different part of the story. The Jews, assisted by the Persian officials, killed huge numbers of their enemies all over the empire.
That is something counter-intuitive as well. When the Jews heard about the original edict instructing everyone to kill them, they never would have envisioned that they would end up being victors in a huge way. They must have felt hopeless and trapped. They were a people in subjugation. There was no way out.
And that’s the way I am feeling — trapped. It is so good to read examples of God working in unexpected ways to take care of His people. It reminds me that there is something much bigger at play here. It reminds me that my feelings can deceive me.
You know, in the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” the main characters have to change their paradigm. I need to do that as well. I am so thankful that God gives me words that will help my heart to have hope when my feelings tell me otherwise.