Hello jello beans,
How has the week been treating you? This week has been a bit of a roller coaster. If you've been following me, you know that I've been having a bit of a struggle in the work place. My coworker actually reached out to me to chat about it, and it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest. It gave me a lot more clarity into the situation, and I really appreciated it. Still, I find my heart unsettled in terms of what my next steps should be, as I'm slowly getting more involved in more personal projects and school is getting more busy.
Today, I was going through my devotionals in Isaiah 26, and it was just a great reminder to lay down these burdens - God's Will be done.
"We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you" - Isaiah 26:1-3
It's been a constant theme this year to keep surrendering and remembering God in His goodness and His Gospel message. Everything has kind of just been up in the air with illness and uncertainty, and I've been getting so frustrated. To be honest, I don't know if it has been my emotions and anxieties that have affected my immune system to this point. I think that's the scary thing about sin - it comes silently, guiding our gaze and hearts away from God. It builds upon each other, sin encouraging sin.
It's not just an ongoing cycle mental x physical health wise, I've seen how this sin has built up within relationships with people and led to an unhealthy workplace environment as well. And as these things build up, I lost motivation to work, whether at work or in school. It even flowed over to my blog, my devotionals, and just all aspects of my life. All the areas that I prayed to God to use me as a vessel of blessing and be the salt and light succumbed momentarily to me listening to Satan's lies - that it's okay to be angry, that it's okay to compare, that I am better as a Christian, that I'm doing the right thing.
Earlier this week, I had a conversation with a coworker that I was struggling a lot with - outside of work, she is a great friend. However, we had such a different perspective in dealing with work. I don't want to use the word "worldly", because she's not a believer, and her approach is very efficient and logical from a human sense. She's very practical. On the other hand, I was always someone more idealistic and an empath, and that side of me was extremely impacted by the way she ran business. On her end, she was very frustrated with me, and as my motivation dwindled, that built up her negativity as well. Both of us were unable to confront this as we didn't want to hurt our relationship, but that just ended up hurting it more. I would sense her frustration, but because I was so locked into what I was upset at, I would be blinded and very self-righteously ignore the logic in her argument, and we would just end up spiraling in this cycle of driving each other nutters.
At the end of our call, we came to terms with our differences - we are ultimately different people, and that's what should make us work well together. Like Good Cop, Bad Cop. Bad Cop gets things done, but Good Cop makes sure no one runs or tries to shoot before it's done. But it doesn't work when Good Cop is judging Bad Cop, and Bad Cop is frustrated at Good Cop. That's when the Good Cop and Bad Cop are manipulated by the interrogatee! I can definitely see how Satan worked to each of our strengths and weaknesses to interfere with our relationship and other aspects of our life.
But this passage was such a good reminder that God has reconciled us and redeemed these sins. As man, our flesh will fail, but God never will. He has been orchestrating Salvation even before Christ came down to wander earth, and He reminds us that looking to Him is what will bring forth peace. In our anxieties and wayward thoughts, we can lay them before God and know that He is greater.
Do you have any relationships that need reconciling? Have you reached out? I pray you go with courage in knowing that God is in those relationships, even if one or both of you are not believers. Reconciliation and facing issues can be hard, but what's even harder is staying mum and letting it fester inside. What others do not see, God knows, and ultimately, you will recognize it in your own heart. God wants to be able to take these sins and banish them away from us, so that we can heal and mend our relationships with one another, just as Christ took on our sin so that we can be reconciled to God the Father. Step 1 is admitting there is sin, Step 2 is repentance and confession, and Step 3 is simply trusting in God's faithfulness.