Why canít I break out of this never-ending cycle? Why do I always fall short? Why do I expect perfection from myself? Why is it I never feel good enough? When will it all stop? When will true freedom be mine?
I canít seem to break free of the torments in my life. Thorns, thistles and other thick foliage grow in front of me. I hack at them and hack at them with my sword, but more keeps growing in front of me. It is as if every step I take sets into motion the growth of new vines and branches, thick and twisting, in front of me. The jungle of foliage is the worst I have ever seen. Small rays of light squeeze through the cracks between the twisting vines and branches. They tell me there is hope out there somewhere.
A mighty angel follows me from behind as if to keep anything from growing up behind me after I have destroyed it in my efforts to move forward. The light seems so far away, yet so close. Where does this path lead? I lift my sword and swing a mighty blow at the almost impossible task before me. The momentum of the forward motion propels me forward to my knees. Tears streak my face as my heart is overwhelmed with the challenge that looms before me. It seems almost impossible to win. I must keep going. I cannot stop. To stop is to die forever. To stop is to give into this evil growth that continually blocks my path.
I cannot see what lies ahead. I donít know how much farther I have to go to be truly free. I rock back on my heels and lift my head upward. The tears roll down my cheeks onto my chin and down my throat. I see only thick foliage overhead doing its best to keep the light out. Father, donít you see the impossible task that is before me?
My shoulders rise and fall with the deep breaths I take as I try to stop crying and draw more courage from the tiny rays of light. I let my head fall as racking sobs overtake me. I fall forward as my hands brace me from falling flat on my face. My head drops, and the tears fall to the earth, mixing with the dirt beneath me. The pain in my heart is almost too much to bear. Why? How long will it take to reach the light? When will the path be clear?
Finally, I stop crying, lift my head and look at what blocks my path. Rising up to face the daunting task before me again, I wipe the tears from my face. It would feel so good to be able to have someone hold me and wipe the tears away for me. But no one does. I look back at the angel, larger than life. Our eyes meet. His expression tells me that he cannot do it for me, but he is not leaving me. The corners of his mouth turn up slightly in just the hint of a smile, conveying encouragement to go on. More tears well up in my eyes as I acknowledge his silent message.
I turn around and survey the path before me. As I draw in a long, deep breath, I lift my sword and begin the task again. Blow after blow, I chop down foliage leaving a clear path behind me covered in ruined foliage. Streaks of dirt mixed with tears smear my face as I wipe it with the back of my hand. Donít stop now. Keep going.
To take my mind off of my troubles, I begin to sing praises to God as I continue to move forward at a slow, labored pace. I am determined to worship in the midst of this turmoil.
I will keep going for a little while longer until fatigue begins to overtake me, and I need to rest for a night. I feel the warmth of the angel on my back. Peace and strength to continue begins to seep through my pores and into my spirit. I feel so isolated, but I know that one day, I will reach the light. One day, my joy will be full. Until then, I keep believing victory will soon be mine.
Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Come Lord Jesus!
"Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Come Lord Jesus!"
..and what a JOY it will be! Keep trusting! Keep following the Shepherd. (Psalms 23)
You have comforted us with the comfort that God has given you and what a joy that will bring to your heart. I thank God for you. -Gloria
Wow Joyce, did I ever feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit as I read this. Jesus has told us that the path that leads to life is difficult, but He will show it to you. (Ps. 17:11) Ps. 34:19--Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord DELIVERS him OUT of them ALL,) Keep on hacking away, victory may lay just around the corner! Love, Sharon
"I canít seem to break free of the torments in my life. I don't know how far I'll have to go to be free." These cycles seem to follow me in my life. It's like a merry-go-round that I would like to get off of at times. There will come a time when we've gone around this mountain enough times and learned the lessons there. He will then move that mountain out of our way.
Dear Joyce, The burdens that lie before you and threaten to overwhelm you - I can see and feel them all! However, when you write, "Our eyes meet. His expression tells me that he cannot do it for me, but he is not leaving me. The corners of his mouth turn up slightly in just the hint of a smile, conveying encouragement to go on" you capture THE GREAT TRUTH that we all need to embrace - God didn't promise us a life without troubles, but He DID promise that He would never leave us and He would always be there to encourage us along the way. AMEN! Thank you for reminding us that God is always with us through our sruggles. God bless you, my sister! Love, Peggy