Monday, March 16, 2009
I think I like definition number 3.
1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression.
2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.
3. Archaic- the condition of having too much black bile, considered in ancient
and medieval medicine to cause gloominess and depression, black bile.
When I say I feel "melancholy" today, I have always meant definition 2, a sense of dissatisfaction, reflection, almost a "dreariness"- pensive. But now that I know I can blame "too much black bile" on the reason for my gloomy feeling, I think I will take that one. That's why my Kirby dog looks the way he does, not because he is awaiting his children's return and is bored stiff in the car, but he has too much black bile in his system and it is depressing him. What a relief!
I have decided that sometimes, the dreary, monotony of life is harder to handle than the dramatic times. It is one thing to look into the face of death and say "I believe in God- save me, Jesus!", but when there is nothing tearing at your soul, no big test, no "need" for God in a safe, average, old day- what then? Am I honestly living like I BELIEVE in God, am I honestly saying and knowing that I NEED rescuing? When the Israelites had the entire Egyptian army behind them, and the parted Red Sea before them, I am sure there was fear, terror, even awe- in their hearts, but there was no doubt in their mind that God was fighting for them, who then, could stand against them? But as the years wore on, the manna kept coming and lost it's flavor, the excitement was gone and God's face was harder to see- did the frustration of boring life, the constant sand and dust in their eyes scare them more than all of Pharaoh's bravado? Was the lack of obvious progress a heavier burden than even death?
I have made so many mistakes, like Joshua- forgotten to inquire of the LORD, and thus been faced with the unfortunate consequences (Joshua chapter 9), and struggled with feelings of depression and wishing for Jesus to come back simply to rid me of myself. But in those moments, there is no doubt in my mind that God is real, He is just as He said He is, and Jesus is with me. It's in the daily grind that I feel myself question, in the "melancholy" of work, and chores, and child rearing, and marriage, and friendship- that I sometimes find myself despairing of hope. Despairing that there is a God who is working for me, that though I might not see it; I am growing, and learning, and becoming more of the daughter He created me to be.
Those are the days that I know I need to keep my focus all the more on the prize- press onward through the "dryness" of the desert, the drudgery of the wilderness.
I guess it boils down to, am I ready to put my "money where my mouth is". If God is working in me, to will and to act according to His "good pleasure" (Phil 2:13), then I too, better get busy and quit my belly-aching! To be prepared and ready for whatever might be in store, to work and strive in the quiet times to be closer with my Lord, that when the time comes, I am equipped and ready to stand- sword blazing and eyes on fire- ready to do battle with the evils of this world and my own sinfulness, and to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY worthy thing to live for, that He is the joy and happiness of every day, and that He has "risen, He has risen indeed!" and lives in me, how then can I be melancholy? (I obviously have been spending too much time with fiction books again) I suppose for today, my sword is the toilet brush and my eyes are blazingly blood shot due to the lovely mix of chemicals I use to scrub the tile floors. Onward, Soldier!
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of LIFE..." Philippians 2:14-16a