But Not

It used to be a rare thing, but less rare of late, my finding myself writing a blog post on the day I intend to post it. But here I am. I had planned to post a “looking back at 2013” post today but I didn’t get it written. When I tried to start writing it this morning before my first meeting, this is what came out.

It’s been a hard morning at the end of a hard month at the end of a hard year. For a few minutes I contemplated posting today something like “this blog was a stupid crazy idea from the get-go and now it’s done.” Giving up may be my new super power but I’m not ready to do it yet, I don’t think. But here, this morning, it feels like giving up is the best of my options, or at least the easiest. The other night I realized that the little reservoir in me that I pull willpower and energy and creativity and boldness from when something needs to be done and I’m tired is empty. I got nothing. I’ve been running on fumes for weeks and I’m sputtering and don’t even know if I’m coasting closer to a gas station.

I’m sure it’s not really that bad. I am sure that I’m tired and so I’m overblowing things. As I look at my growing-much-faster-than-my-done-list to-do list and think about what needs to be done just over the next 10 days I’m discouraged and drained and want to just quit school and go to sleep.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1)

“We don’t lose heart” = “We don’t give up.”

Paul continues:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4, vv. 7-12, emphasis added)

Death for life. Afflicted but not crushed. Perplexed but not driven to despair. Persecuted but not forsaken. Struck down but not destroyed. This is the life Jesus gives and what true hope in Him means. This is what I forget all too often.

This morning I wrote a long rant about stuff I’m tired of. And I really am (tired, that is). And I really want to give up, to just crawl away into a corner and give up on everything. My life does not feel like the “but not”s in the verses above this morning. But those verses are true. I know that they are.

Thankfully, the truth is not defined nor affected by my feelings nor by my personal perceptions. Life feels hard right now. I feel like I’ve got nothing left. I feel forsaken, despairing, crushed. But I’m not.

It’s going to be a hard day today. I’ve been fighting off tears all morning and I have things to do that I don’t want to do at all. And because of God’s mercy and God’s power I can walk through this day, provided I don’t do it in my own strength.

3 thoughts on “But Not

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