Post Script Miracles

This has not been my day. You know those days when you’re just “off”? My husband says he didn’t notice it, but my dog did. He moped around me, followed me everywhere and manipulated me with doleful eyes. Maybe he was trying to make me feel better, but it didn’t work. On top of feeling “off” now I feel guilty for not being a good dog mom.

Just this morning we studied the intrinsic value of our marriage partners. The teacher pointed out that in eastern culture, the emphasis is naturally on the value of who someone is. Consider even the recorded praises of the Jewish people to their God. Most of their vernacular is centered on who God is. “Give thanks to the Lord for He IS good.” Ps. 136:1 Whereas, in a western church service, you will likely here people praising God for all the good He has done. Both things are true: God is of utmost value and worth, God IS good; and God has done great and wonderful things.

Where am I going with this? After nodding in agreement this morning, I walked out of the church building into a world of disappointment in myself for not doing anything of significance, worth or value. It seems, my whole existence serves only to extend my life one more day. I live for the sake of living, get up for the sake of getting up – not because I’m contributing anything important or necessary to the world around me. Ever feel that way?

What’s the point of cooking fresh homemade cornbread, folding laundry, buying a sewing pattern, feeding the dog, reading a book, washing the car, sweeping the floor? All these things done once must be done again and feel like an exercise in futility.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? Ecc. 1:2-3 At least I’m in good company.

Post Script miracles. The tag line on my day.

A postscript, abbreviated PS or P.S., is writing added after the main body of a letter (or other body of writing). The term comes from the Latin post scriptum, an expression meaning “written after”[1][2] (which may be interpreted in the sense of “that which comes after the writing”). (Wikipedia) 

What is the fragrance that lingers in the room after I’m gone? What is the P.S. beneath my signature on every friendship? The miracle is that because Jesus Christ lives in me, I believe He is the lasting impression even after my most futile days.

Oh Jesus, that I might follow so hard after you, be so taken with your direction that I will not fear even when my daily tasks seem mundane and my life feels insignificant. For Lord, it is not your choice to make much of me. You created me so that you can live through me. Take even my pathetic shell and fill it with so much of yourself that even when I’m invisible, unnoticed and tiny, the presence of Christ will overwhelm each spirit in my presence.

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Is. 58:11

It’s Personal

I am quite skilled at containing two opinions in my own head and lobbying for dissenting convictions.

For many years, I hosted the little red devil on my left shoulder and the gleaming, screaming angel on my right.Simultaneously, they fed me suggestions. For a moment my head would cock to the right, imperceptibly to my acquaintances, then shift slightly to the left. My whole body would lean into one persuasion or the next, convinced of polar viewpoints, to the marrow of my bones with each new thought.

In the heat of an eating disorder, I couldn’t tell up from down as my very life hung in the balance. I often walked away from conversations unable to recall what someone had confided me; too consumed by the disagreement raging in my mind.

A counselor once told me to write out the dialogue. Maybe, if I could present the arguments to myself logically, on a page, then I could choose the merits of each opinion and come to a composite truth.

“You’re fat and ugly. You’re worthless and dispensable. In your sick obsession with anorexia, you’re a liability to your family. 

Talent? Don’t kid yourself. Did you see your sister? She’s capable of ten times what you can do.”

“Precious One! Don’t listen to that lie! You are a child of God. Eat, Dear One. God created you for His good purpose and He has promised to care for you physically as much as spiritually. You trust Jesus with eternity, you can trust Him with your weight today.”

“Your workout barely counted this morning. Three miles? Are you kidding me?”

“Rest, Child of God. Be still and know that God and cares for you intimately. He made you and knows your body inside out.”

The wrestling between my ears was agonizing. The war seethed, leaving my body a ravaged battle field and my mind wounded by fear. What ends a war? Only a victory. Peace is never found in the middle ground, the center of the battlefield, or in this case in my mind. So I simply gave up.

I don’t mean that I relinquished my life and succumbed to the death knell of self-starvation, depression and skewed pride. I quit searching for my own form of truth, a combination of the voices in my head. I quit trying to make peace between two mortal enemies.

Satan paints a pretty picture. He is the master of disguise. Genesis tells us that when Satan directed Eve’s gaze to the forbidden fruit, “it looked good to her.” Just like Eve, I can be convinced that his arguments make sense. Sometimes God’s law seems harsh and tolerance of sin seems like the easiest option.

“So I’ve discovered this truth: Evil is present with me even when I want to do what God’s standards say is good. I take pleasure in God’s standards in my inner being. However, I see a different standard at work throughout my body. It is at war with the standards my mind sets and tries to take me captive to sin’s standards which still exist throughout my body. What a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me from my dying body?”

What to do? I’m exhausted. I’m not strong enough to get it right, to banish sinful behaviors or stand up for truth one more time. I am in good company. The apostle Paul understood this internal argument. But he didn’t tell me to suck it up, tighten my belt, or try harder. He simply told me, let the best man win.

“I thank God that our Lord Jesus Christ rescues me!”

Romans 7:21-25a