I had a really rough night last night. Really rough. I spent today feeling bruised and battered, like I had been run over by the emotional express train. In the evening, driving the kids around, I dialed up a string of U2 songs on YouTube and let ‘er rip in the car. Through the cracks in the conversation with my daughter, my mind kept grasping and pecking at the lyrics and riffs, trying to maneuver them into my soul and elevate my mood. But relief was eluding me. I kept thinking, Man, I really want to hear ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’.
I pulled into our church parking lot to drop the kids to youth group and while pulling back out, I thought, I bet God was just waiting for me to drop them off so I can hear the song uninterrupted. Three minutes and one song later, my radio wails with recorded police sirens and DJs frantically announcing an impromptu U2 video shoot on top a building in LA at 7th and Main. Voices of police officers threatening Bono they will shut down the shoot play over the pandemonium rising in the background as crowds pour into the streets. But their legendary opening riffs blow over the rooftop and into the streets below. It was March 27, 1987. The song they played that day… Where the Streets Have No Name. Best version of that song ever recorded.
Relief, blasting through my speakers and settling in my soul. The song is great, but my God is Good.
I’m recently struggling with a problem I’ve not had in the past… FOOD! I just can’t quite seem to get enough of it. I’m gorging myself at meals, over-packing my lunch for work, eating those explosion-of-sugar kids’ birthday cakes that once I never would have dreamed of ingesting, thinking about which restaurant we’re going to after church… you get the idea. This is strange for me – this is not something that has haunted and taunted me before. I’ve been praying about it a lot, trying to break the habit, trying to force myself to stop and… nothing.
But today at church, I had a “Doh!” moment. A revelation that in hindsight, seems absurdly obvious. It’s amazing how the enemy can blind us to awareness and insight and how that can keep us trapped in cyclical behavior. Last January, after my church community ended their annual beginning-of-the-year-fast, I decided I wanted to keep it up through the year instead of doing it just once. So I joined hands with my sister and we’ve fasted and prayed together each Wednesday through the year. It’s turned out to be a profound experience for me in growing closer to God.
So why on earth was I struggling to understand why I’ve been having a FOOD problem? I’ve been FASTING which has helped me grow CLOSER to God! Where else would the enemy try to attack me? Well, he can attack, but he can’t win with Jesus on my side. Today at lunch after church, I stopped with a third of my meal still on the plate, comfortably full, not stuffed. Victory!
Is there something that has been nagging you or chronically derailing you? Is there something you feel as though you just can’t break free from? If so, I encourage you to look for ways that it’s related to something you have recently made a commitment to change in your life. When you make the connection, recognize it as a sign that you are moving forward and making progress and the darkness of this world is trying to shut it down. So press in and don’t give up! Identify it, call it out by name, and reject it in your life by Jesus’ saving hand. Then step forward into the victory that’s waiting for you!