My heart felt thick and clumsy and congested.
Praying felt like a non-contact sport. (Talk about unmotivating.) It was a week of hurried Bible study and half focus. Drowsy, confused, lazy…it took about a week of half-attention for my red-hot, consuming Jesus-love to cool to lukewarm. Now that’s humiliating to admit.
What in the world? It didn’t take long to identify the causative virus:
My workaholic tendency kicked into overdrive. (It could have been any number of things, but I’ll be honest…work is one of my prime weaknesses.)
We had a chat, Jesus and I.
About priorities. About focus. Mostly, I repented. “I’m a fool,” I wrote in my prayer journal. “A silly, foolish fool.” And I was.
Coming back into fellowship with Him…it was sweet. It was hot tea and chicken soup and Nyquil to my virus-laden heart.
Do you have the spiritual sniffles? His mercies…they’re new every morning, not because it sounds great, but because He knows our tendencies, and we need new mercies every morning. His faithfulness is great, because our track record – yours and mine and everybody’s – it’s not so great. Falling out of fellowship with Him again may frustrate us and leave us feeling like failures, but He is not surprised, shocked, or frustrated with our imperfect record.
God is not limited to working with new material. He loves restoration work just as much as creating something out of nothing. He delights in fixing the unfixable, healing the broken beyond repair, and touching the untouchable. When the strands of your heart get tangled and broken, look up, weary sinner.
You may be sick of your sin, but don’t think for a minute that He’s sick of you.
The frustrating, infuriating part about catching a spiritual cold is that it’s so gradual and unnoticeable. Here’s the thing: nobody I know is looking to replace Jesus in their hearts. Idolatry is a subtle, sneaky thing. It doesn’t announce itself with full disclosure statements and a brass band. Nope, it’s more like a cat burglar that plunders your heart and pawns what is priceless…and one day you wake up to a heart stripped of treasure. I don’t want to miss out on the riches of Jesus because I was too busy chasing my own plans, my own goals, or my own glory. (Hahaha…glory…that’s funny.)
There will be no other gods before Him, and when our hearts erect idols – even good things – it’s flu season in da house. Or echo time in a burglarized soul.
If your heart is congested, don’t ignore it. If your spiritual life is stripped bare and pawned out, don’t tolerate it.
Get on your knees and do some confessing. Repenting.
- Ask Him what your virus is. Lay it out there.
- Take your medicine. Establish Him as your #1 priority. Dose up on Jesus.
- Get your healthy habits back. Prayer, Bible study, Scripture memorization – they’re like drinking water, vitamins, and exercise to the soul.
- Examine side effects. In realizing how I’d ignored Jesus, I was convicted about the way I’d been treating my family, too. What have you been ignoring/allowing/letting slide?
Sniffles can make your life a drag, but thankfully the cure for spiritual sniffles is accessible anytime, anywhere.
Chase Jesus more than anything else.
You just might find, as I did…that He doesn’t hold grudges.
And His love is just the cure I needed.