It occurred to me one morning as I was still laying under the covers and it was already 11am. I had not even begun to stir, nor did I really want to. From what I could tell through the window, it was a perfectly beautiful day outside.
The fact that half the day was wasted was not overlooked.
I had thoughts of coffee on my mind, and how a nice cup would be good, but I didn’t feel like getting up to make it. A list of all the things I needed to get done that day were carouselling through my brain and that only made me want to tuck in a little more snug into the bed. I checked my phone and didn’t reply to any messages I had received because I just didn’t feel like it. I could hear my kids awake, and wondered briefly why that hadn’t come in to wake me up or ask me something. And then I realized they probably hadn’t, because when I get in my moods like this they know it doesn’t do them any good to ask anything of me. And then I thought : How unfair to them.. which led to:
What is wrong with me?
As I thought about it and remembered that days like this were becoming frequent in my life, days where I just didn’t care and I wondered why.. It hit me…flashing like a fire alarm, bright red, siren’s blaring :
You are feeling sorry for yourself!! Wake up!! Get over yourself!!!
Yep, that was it, I had begun to feel sorry for myself. Do you know why I was feeling sorry for myself?
Because my life was not going the way I felt it should be going.
See, I had taken matters into my own hands many times and as a result of doing that, I’ve paid consequences for it. Consequences that come as being a child of God and stepping outside His will. And my biggest mistake was always putting I before Him. And sometimes I forget about those pesky consequences. And then I start feeling sorry for myself.
Can I tell you that I’ve struggled and wrestled with waiting on God?
Can I tell you that I haven’t always trusted Him to do what’s best for me? ( gasp!) Yes I said that.
When you take matters into your own hands instead of being obedient to God and waiting on Him, then you are NOT trusting Him.
Can I tell you that feeling sorry for yourself is making it all about you again?
I was feeling sorry for myself because at the time, I was going through some consequences of stepping outside of God’s will.
But that’s not always the case for some. Maybe you’ve always put God first in your life, maybe you have sought Him in every single area in your life, you’ve had a faithful communication through prayer, you’ve served willingly and wholeheartedly, you haven’t been perfect because only Jesus is, but you’ve thought you’ve done pretty good. And I’m sure you have. But maybe someone didn’t receive the message of the Gospel you had prepared, maybe they mocked you. Maybe someone hurt your feelings when all you had done was do your best to be nice to them. Maybe someone didn’t love you like you loved them, and they walked away from years of marriage. Maybe your co-worker got the position you’d prayed about and you’re one paycheck away from poverty, maybe she gave birth to a healthy baby and three have slid from your womb, blue. And maybe you’ve let the Serpent’s lies creep in and tell you a good God wouldn’t let this happen.
And instead of looking to God, you slid under the covers.
And you let the pain (which is normal) turn into feeling sorry for yourself.
Can this once prodigal daughter tell you what feeling sorry for yourself gets you?
Nothing. It steals your joy that is to be had in Christ. It robs your peace that is found in Him. It takes your eyes off Him, when they should be on Him. It can make a heart that was once full of gratitude, become ungrateful.
I know because I’ve been there.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!'” Luke 15:17
That was taken from the parable of the prodigal son. I like his first words, he came to his senses! He returned home.
Can I tell you letting go of self-pity was one of my first steps to returning Home?
Letting go of self-pity and realizing things happen on this earth, either as a direct consequence of my actions or because God has a greater plan is me coming to my senses.
Why would I want to stay under the covers when there is life go be lived? When I look around and the world’s a mess, and kids are starving, and people are dying, and they don’t know Christ, they don’t know grace, and here I am with the gift of the Most Righteous where all my needs will be fulfilled yet I, like the Prodigal son went out away from Home, only to realize Home in Him is all I ever need! And there’s no place for self pity in His arms.
The apostle Paul was in prison, yet he didn’t feel sorry for himself, he counted it as an advancement of the gospel! And there’s Glory in that!
There’s hope in that.