One night I was driving and I was caught in the middle of a nasty rain and wind storm. Even with the windshield wipers on the highest speed, they could barely clear the downpour of rain as more hit. I was squinting to see in between the brief second of wiper clearing all while gripping the steering wheel as if I were hanging from off the side of a cliff. The lack of light and immersing fog were of no help, doubled with the ever rising puddles unknowing how deep they may be until I drive thru them but desperately trying to swerve around the ones I was able to avoid.
That is how my life and how I have been feeling recently. Unable to clear my view for more than a second because of the pain, tears, heaviness and private wars I have been fighting.
Have you ever felt like that? You are in the midst of private wars and battles and though you pray for them to end, they only persist? When you are all cried out and the fog does not seem to lift?
David Wilkerson delve into the private war stating, “There is a time for war (Ecclesiastes 3:8)…that private war will come to you if you are not already in it…you have been enduring, in the middle, or engaged in a spiritual warfare in private that nobody else knows about; nobody else can share. You can’t tell anybody because it’s so deep and they wouldn’t understand or they might judge you.
Have you ever gone through something that after affliction, after adversity, after affliction, after trouble, after trial comes heaped one after another and it doesn’t seem to stop?…You’ve already gone through the questions “why God?” you’re beyond that. I don’t ask why anymore I just want one hour free of pain. I would just like to be able to see and get some kind of relief from what I’m going through; this war that I’m in. You see there are war zones and there are bloody battlefields and in that time you don’t want a song, you don’t need a sermon, you don’t need a Holy Ghost meeting where you just get primed and pumped and as soon as you get on the street or get in your car it’s there.”
I do not know the private wars you may be fighting, but I understand how real it gets. I understand the battles we face (especially the private ones) can be as painful and as real as if you were on a real battlefield. I have lost people to the battlefields of the private wars, I am pretty sure many of you have as well. I do not have all the answers, but I wanted to share two powerful things I have learned while going through private wars that have been beneficial in my fight.
War through prayer by crying out to God:
It's okay to cry out to God. It is ok to be honest about your pain with Him; He knows it already. I feel like many of us have been brought up to be silent about our pain and “buck up and suck it up.” We have grown so accustomed to this, that we become like this before God as well. Or we feel we must hide or be silent about our pain simply so that to others (Believers and unbelievers) we look strong and happy all the time.
We think that will show others that we really believe in and are serious about God. We have been told that strength only looks one way, one dimensional and that just is not true. Somehow we have come to equate happiness and perfect pain free lives with actually following God and having faith. Sorry to tell you that if you have been led to believe this you are in for a rude awakening. Being a Christian is being Christ like which entails all the pain and travail that Christ took on himself. If you read through the Bible, some of the greatest and most faithful people in the Bible (Job, David, Hannah just to name a few) cried out over and over to God in pain and anguish and were not usually delivered from their pain right away, yet they persisted fervently in their prayers.
I believe the reasons we may not (or are afraid to) cry out to God because of these three things:
- We feel ungrateful.
- We feel ashamed. Ashamed that we feel this way. Ashamed that we may come across as ungrateful. Ashamed that there may be something wrong with us (a stigma). Or perhaps ashamed that we did something wrong to bring this upon ourselves.
- We feel that He is not answering us no matter how much we pray and hope. We start to give up because we feel that He is not helping us and we start to think He wants us to stay this way.
Let’s get straight to the raw and truth regarding this which can only be found in the book of pure God breathed truth, the Bible.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV)
Romans 8:35-39 goes on to give us even more good news, that NOTHING can separate us from the love Christ. Let that sink in for a moment.
This seems easier said than done, but it can be done and practiced in all ways and every day. Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Perspective is the art of seeing things in a way that alters your thoughts, attitude and daily or moment to moment life. It is the difference between seeing failure and victory; seeing opportunity or defeat.
Here are some practical ways you can get a fresh perspective:
- Helping others. It gets your eyes off you and your difficulties.
- Be in awe. Be in awe of things God has done for you in the past (and believe that list will be long if you simply take the time to ponder on that).
- Confide in someone you trust. Sometimes just simply talking and getting it out with someone allows you to hear yourself as well as hearing the thoughts of someone else who is able to see things from an outside point of view.
- Viewing the pain differently. We tend to get lost in the pain and if we are not careful it can become our identity. We have to get down to the reality and the basis for the pain; it is not to punish you but refine you. When we can get back to the center of why we may have to endure the pain and realize there is purpose for the pain and that purpose is for good not bad, then we can push through more diligently.
Last but not least, hold on. Even when you feel like you may losing your grip, hang on. Remember you ARE a warrior of God; be confident.
Know that the battle belongs to the Lord and has already been won and the enemy is already defeated.
If you are battling with thoughts of suicide please reach out for help. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255