I can hardly believe how easy it is to keep taking back to myself the trust I place in God. Find yourself in the same situation? If I had Proverbs 3:5-6 tattooed on my forehead, I probably would still find myself trusting in my own puny solutions too often. The process of letting go isn’t quick or easy, but if I want to be a more effective servant of Christ, I can’t give up trying. How about you?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
A Smothering Nightmare
My twin sister and I, as kids, often had the same nightmare. A ball of lint in the distance rolled closer and closer, growing in size, until it eventually smothered us. We couldn’t move out of the way or punch it away, but only watch in fear as it approached. We always awoke with a stuffy nose.
Some real-life experiences also make us feel smothered, such as divorce, abuse, anxiety, and fear. Smothering oppression can weigh us down in body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Like a nightmarish ball of lint, such feelings of being smothered can eventually disable us.
When a falling tree traps us, our fight or flight reaction kicks in to help us get out from under the burden. Emotional oppression requires a different kind of effort—perhaps therapy or counseling. The Bible is filled with examples of emotional problems that led to spiritual oppression. The Israelites, oppressed by unbelief and doubt of God’s love and provision, suffered from fear, anger, and bitterness. King Saul’s tortured soul was soothed only temporarily by David’s harp playing. Like the ball of lint in my nightmares, their oppression grew into drastic proportions. Only when they came to the end of their self-centered rope and turned to God did they find victory from their self-imposed smothering.
We too are sometimes helpless to remove oppression, when we rely only on ourselves. And it does no good to scream and holler, cringe and cry, or blame another source.
There is, however, a successful, biblical way to deal with smothering oppression. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Trust comes hard for some, especially those of us who have an independent nature, believing they can solve all their own problems. Others believe they need only to sit back and wait for God or someone else to help. Some trust God in some things but surely not all things. But we’re told to trust Him with ALL our heart, not just the part we want to give Him. And sometimes we tend to forget to acknowledge Him in EVERY way, believing He will solve our problems the best way—His way.
Lord, help us remember to look to You first, trusting that You can free us from our oppressions in the best way possible. Thank You for Your faithfulness in directing our paths in Your perfect way. In Jesus’ name, amen.