A Tormented Mind

I didn’t want to answer the phone. I was watching the caller ID to see who was calling, deciding whether I would answer or not. I was afraid to open emails. Working through everyday was a test of endurance. Going home and trying to rest while the mind was racing became the routine. Crawling into bed at night you prayed God would give the grace to shut the mind down long enough to rest. Prayer was offered to guard the sleep from tormenting dreams.

When I did answer the phone sometimes I could hardly catch my breath to talk as my blood pressure would pound my chest. Trying to maintain a position of grace in the midst of mental and spiritual torment was a constant struggle. What the humanity wants to do and what the Spirit of God wants to do are totally opposed.

We all want to live on the mountain top. I do. We all want to live by the shore to watch the waves and listen to the soothing sound of lapping waves. I do. But mountain tops have high winds and deep snows and ocean shores have heavy storms and hurricanes. There is no escape. Life will pound you. It is how we survive the pounding that counts.

We are urged to bring every thought into captivity that exalts itself against God. That sounds so easy. It is not. It is the hardest thing you will ever be commanded to do by the Lord. The warfare that goes on in the mind is relentless. We waver from calm to rage when we have been hurt, offended, or falsely accused. Sometimes, most times really, there is no recourse. You just have to wait on God. However, the waiting on God is not for a revenge factor; it is for God to heal you of the hurt, the growing unforgiveness, the thoughts of getting even somehow. We never walk through these things with some Mother Theresa ideal of just forgive and move on. Most of us are just too human for it to be that easy.

It takes effort. It takes pursuing God. It is confessing our weakness. It is surrendering our passions. It is utterly giving in to God. We come to the realization that we cannot do it. Every effort to be a Christian fails. Every effort of mind over matter is ridiculously faulty. We in our desperation will do anything but let go. We try to put it on the altar, but the least provocation causes us to grab it quickly off the altar and possess it again. We may do this many times until we can let go and walk away. I find that I cannot do that without God lifting the weight, the burden, the memory, the constant preoccupation of the mind.

But we must pursue or we will not see Him bring the deliverance. It is a work of His Spirit, not our will, mind, or strength. It truly is He. When it comes, there is freedom in the mind, lightness in the soul. You know it. It is transforming. It is relaxing.

The only way to peace is to continue to press toward God and wait, with persistence, for His grace to deliver.

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