Today I am feeling listless and restless. I am frustrated with myself because I should be really happy right now: I’ve just been on holiday, I’ve had loads of sunshine and good food and great chats with friends. I am emotionally replenished. I’m so blessed.
But for some reason, over the last couple of days, I have had that ‘urgh’ feeling of dissatisfaction. I know, I know – I’m perverse. I don’t have anything to moan about and I’m moaning.
I feel like the weather at the moment, still and sticky and annoying. (Can I blame pathetic fallacy for my mood, I wonder?)
I am annoyed, because I don’t feel blessed. I know I am blessed, but I feel a discontentment. Somehow, at the moment, nothing is ‘enough’. I have time to relax, brain energy to write – these things are a blessing, but I want more. I want more time to relax, more nice food, more sunshine, more time with friends.
And then I feel guilty, because I know that I have so much to be grateful for, and what am I doing being so self-obsessed? I have so much, and I have especially had so much to be thankful for in the past few weeks. I infuriate myself.
I try to conjure up thankfulness for various things. It fails.
Then I feel like because I have had more time recently, I ought (somehow) to be feeling more holy. I ought to be reading the Bible more, and getting more from it. I ought to be encouraging others – or something. Instead, Jon and I sit in the evenings, both in the same ‘urgh’ mood – for no reason.
And then a line comes to mind: ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.’ (Eph 1:3)
And immediately I think, ‘Big deal! I don’t want spiritual blessings! I want more ice cream’. I want material blessings. I want more time and brain energy to see friends and to be able to go for a run, and a ticket to see the Olympics, and the ability to attend friends’ weddings, and most of all, everyone everywhere to like my blog and see how profound I am.
And as soon as I think that, I know that I don’t really want more material blessings, that they don’t satisfy. I could have more ice cream, but I don’t really want it. I’d just feel fat and slightly sullied by the quantity of sugar.
And I don’t really want more approval and popularity. I mean, I want it, but it’s junk food. I know if I get it I’ll just feel fat and slightly sullied, in much the same way.
I return to the verse again. He ‘has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.’ I say it slowly.
I don’t want Christ. And I really want Christ.
I want my soul nourished and my spirit to be fed, but I don’t know how to. My Bible reading is plagued by the same ennui and muggy, sticky urgh feeling I’m feeling. It feels like eating porridge – boring and stodgy.
I just read through the lines slowly again. ‘He chose us in Him…He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ…in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…the riches of God’s grace that He lavished upon us…’
In Him. Through Him.
And suddenly I get a sense of release. I am in Him. My perverse, sulky soul is hidden in Christ. Whether I like it or not, I am blessed. Whether I feel it or not, I am blessed. Whether I am grateful for it or not, I am blessed. That is just the way it is.
I don’t know why that brings me joy, but it does.
Over to you:
- Am I the only one who is so ridiculously contradictory in my responses to God?
- What are you most thankful of at the moment – God’s material blessings or the spiritual ones?
Linking up with Emily’s synchroblog on blessing (thanks for the inspiration, Emily), Joy in this Journey, New Life Steward.
Oh my goodness. Yes. All of this. And I struggle with this the MOST right after something really fantastic, like a holiday. I’m not sure what it is, but oh how I know what this is like. Thank you sharing that verse, and for being real about how hard this can be.
Why IS that, that it hits after something so good?
Thanks so much for your encouraging words today – it means a lot. 🙂
I just want to reassure you that if sulking etc. was an event at the Olympics you and I would have shared the gold medal!! My thoughts today went something like this : ” How can you be so ungrateful? Andre ( my hubbie ) really spoiled you the last few days. You went to the movies and he bought you choclate, etc. Blah, blah, blah…. Oh Lord, please give me a grateful heart! You should be ashamed of yourself. Lord, please don’t let me feel so awful.” Oh Lord, have mercy on us, we know what we are doing, but change ourselves, that we cannot do. I can say with Paul like in Rom. 7. “Who will deliver me of this body of sin ” Thank you for being so open and honest about your struggles. Lots of hugs and blessings Mia
Thanks for your encouragement, Mia! I wish there WAS a gold medal in sulking! How cool would that be, to win the Olympics in something that came so naturally?! Thanks for taking the time to comment – it’s good to know I’m not the only one. 🙂
Oh well. Just Amen. xxxx
A hug and an amen back atcha. Xxx
Ugh! I usually use “blah”! Lol! I have been restless this week. I feel like I am missing something, though I have not been able to figure out what. I think I’m restless because school is a short time away and I have much planning still to do. Thank you for sharing! Stoppin by from Joy in the Journey 🙂 Blessings!
I’m glad I’m not the only one! Is it the season perhaps? Or the weather?
Hope you’re feeling less blah today. blessings!
Tanya, you put things so brilliantly and I know those feelings so well!
Last weekend a couple from church had a joint 40th party, but due the insomnia spell I’m in at the moment, I was in no state to go and just felt grrrrrrrrrrr and urgh…
One of the best sermons I’ve ever heard was on and around this subject (and was actually at http://www.burrswood.org.uk christian hospital where I was having some M.E. treatment) and used the passage from Romans 8 about the spirit praying for us. I think the Message is the best version:
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.”
Romans 8: 26,27
The point of the sermon was that if we don’t know what to do and all we have is sighs, groans and ‘urgh’ – that’s ok! If that’s all we’ve got to give at that/this time, then just give it…
(and I’d love some ice cream as well – but being lactose intolerant – might not be such a good idea 😉 )
Hey there – thanks so much for your encouraging words!
I love your insight into Romans 8 – the Message version expresses it so well! If all we have is sighs and groans, that is enough – that is so freeing. Thank you.
Further to that, am I right in reading that the sighs and groans that the Spirit makes prayer from aren’t necessarily prayer-intentioned sighs… they might just possibly be the ‘I’m so tired, I was up all night with sick kids and now I’ve got to get through the day Jesus HELP ME!’ sighs. Or the ‘I can’t believe I’ve got 3 children having 4 different fights right in front of me AGAIN!’ sighs. Or maybe the ‘Where is the money going to come from for the rent this month?’ sighs.
I’ve got to get a Message bible!
That’s how I read it! The sighs and groans are for when we can’t (or don’t know what to/how to) pray – what an understanding God we have!
You can read the Message version (and lots of others!) on: http://www.youversion.com/
I know that feeling well! I’m so thankful for His grace that keeps us in Him, no matter our feelings. And what an amazing thought, we have every spiritual blessing! Just meditating on that fact seems to energize the heart. What a wonderful post! I’m so glad I stopped by here today!
It is such an awesome thought that we have every spiritual blessing, isn’t it? ‘energising the heart’ – yes – that’s such a good way of putting it! Thank you for visiting!
This sounds EXACTLY like my journal lately.
“God, I want to pray to you. But I don’t want to pray to you.”
“God, I want to be like you. But I just want to be lazy and selfish.”
I am glad you posted this. I’ve been feeling discouraged about it. Which of course doesn’t help. So it’s nice to hear someone else think it out on the page.
This “I’m a human” thing is so messy, isn’t it?
Thank you, thank you for sharing – I am so encouraged that I am not the only one.
Ah, I see you’ve been inside my head again… being human is such a messy business eh. Not much else to say except hey from a fellow traveller and a shout out to say, nope you are not alone in these thoughts 🙂
Thank you, fellow traveller – it means a lot to know I am such esteemed company.