“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
What am I feeling?
That is the first conscious thought each morning. Mind you this is not in an effort to gauge what kind of day it is going to be, but it’s the first step in properly assessing which Armor of God I’m going to need to wield the soonest.
Addictions are simply an effort to numb emotions and being in recovery is the daily struggle to embrace them. For me, allowing emotions to have their moment is so incredibly difficult.
In the past I would wake with a feeling of anxiety or depression and do what is called “wake and bake”, to start the day with marijuana or pornography just to “get a head change”.
After 5+ years of recovery I am coming to realize that my emotions still want to steer the car of my life. Just this morning I woke with a sense of dread, Monday morning blues as it were. Another week begins, “time for the grind” passed through my thoughts.
It was in that moment I realized my desperate need for a heart check: Is my life a burden or a blessing?
As God’s word shows us, it is so important to properly self-examine our own motivations – to test our own thoughts.
Psalm 139:24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
Job 13:23 “How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.
Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?
Psalm 77:6 I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders:
Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.
1 Corinthians 11:31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
Galatians 6:4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
For more than 30 years before Christ I have worn the burdens of life like a curse and felt trapped by the multitude of daily responsibilities; job, family, car maintenance, dishes, laundry, meal prep; a relentless never-ending todo list that burdens my time.
But then I realized that many in this world don’t have a car, home, family or food and what I so selfishly and from a place of entitlement not only take for granted but curse; others would literally die for.
The plight of the homeless, the refugees, the persecuted, the sick and the starving. Who am I to sleep in my air-conditioned home, wake to my coffee pot, refrigerator and shower and feel anything less than blessed beyond anything that I have earned or deserve.
It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we have anything in life; and even if that something that we have in the physical world may be a tiny portion; our faith in The One who gave his life for us and the ability to offer Him praise and worship is only hindered by the condition of our own heart – not our bodies.
Am I victimized by my circumstances or blessed and called by my Creator?