L I F E T H O U G H T S From Jim and Barb Geistfeld, Trinity's Life Team Members
Be On Guard Against the Pit of Self-Pity
My husband, Jim, and I attended a couples’ retreat last fall, and one of the covenants we made with each other was to do a daily morning devotion—which we have not done most of our 46 years of marriage. We still don’t manage to do it every single day, but most days we do. Praise God!
We are reading from a book called Jesus Calling—Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. It is written as if Jesus is speaking directly to the reader. I want to share with you an excerpt of the reading from February 23 that I also used as a devotion for one of our LFL staff meetings. It resonated with many of us, I immediately thought of this devotion when you shared how close to giving up you were. We have all had days when we felt like giving up, whether in our lives or in our mission fields. I pray this will help you, too.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV): “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let
us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with
perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of
faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the
right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that
you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Jesus Calling: Be on guard against the pit of self-pity. When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face. Don’t even do near the edge of the pit. Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down. It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it. That is why I tell you to be on guard. There are several ways to protect yourself from self-pity.0 When you are occupied with praising and thanking Me, it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself. Also, the closer you live to Me, the more distance there is between you and the pit. Live in the Light of My Presence by fixing your eyes on Me. Then you will be able to run with endurance the race that is set before you, without stumbling or falling.
If you are tired, feeling unappreciated or underpaid, surrounded by unresponsive people when you give it your all (sound familiar? I’ve been there)—guess what the common thread is? Self-pity. Jesus says, “Stop that. Stay away from the edge of the pit of self-pity (which you and I know can lead to depression.) I am with you. I am your strength. It is a blessing to be called as my worker, as my hands and voice and feet. You are my friend!”
Can you imagine that? We are intimate friends with the Creator and Redeemer of the universe, of all that is seen and unseen. What a privilege! I will keep you in my prayers and ask that you keep me in yours. We are in the same battles, on the same frontlines, against the same enemies of life. But, we serve the same Lord who gives us power and strength! Hallelujah!
For more information on this or other Life issues, please call Barb Geistfeld, Trinity Life Team Leader 830-935-3415