I was out walking yesterday, enjoying the glorious fall evening among those gorgeous amber and red hues. It was so peaceful. I was thinking about the fact that the same unpleasant thing had happened to me two Wednesdays in a row, yesterday and the week before. The first occurrence left me feeling grumpy and self-pitying. I label the reaction that now, realizing it for what it was. At the time, I just felt hurt. Why the difference? What happens from one day to the next that my reaction was different?
We have to remember that we are physical beings. While we as Christians often hesitate to apply any physical symptom to our emotional and mental condition, the truth is that our physical health does influence our emotional and spiritual health. I am a woman over 45 years of age. That brings with it some issues. While it may be fodder for stand up comedy or teasing, it can be a real nuisance. When I was in the work world, I spent a time doing secretarial work as a temp, and one of the places I worked was in the office of an endocrinologist. During that assignmnent, I learned a lot about what hormones do, and not just the female kind. The resident who worked with the doctor I worked for called them "on and off" switches, and explained to me the lack of one hormone can "shut off" something else, which might "turn on" another, and soon the individual is not himself. I've had a little bit of experience with that having had children and now moving into the stage where my body changes again. While I understand that my emotional life must be fed and nurtured in Scripture, I also recognize that my physical body is a reality I must deal with.
I don't know all of the details of what's going on in my body on a day to day basis. I do know that last Wednesday that perceived offense left me weepy and feeling discouraged. The same thing yesterday did not produce the same effect. This time, I had the presence of mind to do what what Martyn Lloyd-Jones often advised: talking to myself. My mind was brought to Psalm 42:11:
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
I find myself more and more turning to the Psalms throughout the day when I confront a negative attitude, or I feel sorry for myself. It doesn't magically make my physical situation at the time resolve itself. What it does is remind me what is true. Often, our dark thought arise because we are not paying attention to what is true. When women in my stage of life struggle with physical situations related to our age, we are more easily led into thinking such dark thoughts. When hormone fluctuations block the good stuff, like Serotonin, we are more inclined to let an innocent comment render us a blubbering mess, and fear that no one loves us, and we are worthless. Scripture brings us back to what is true. We cannot function without the truth.
I thought about that last night as I pondered those who would question the innerancy and sufficiency of Scripture. Where do women like me who don't have that truth find their centre? From what source do they inform their minds and hearts with truth?
I'm thankful to the Lord today -- it being Thankful Thursdsay -- for His Word, for its truth, for the foundation. We are so blessed to have access to it; may we never forget what a gift it is.