Engaged and entrapped

It is possible, sometimes, that we still struggle with meltdowns. Still.

In such meltdowns, it is my nature to wrestle with the issue–reason, dig, understand, deal, explain.

This is not helpful.

It’s not helpful because in the midst of these meltdowns, my child is not struggling with something constructive. My child is struggling with sin–unkindness, harshness, meanness, total lack of control, etc. I recognize this because I know the Fruit of the Spirit, and I know that when we’re in that moment, we’re not dealing with those, and this goes for both of us. The more I engage with this sin, the more I become a part of it as my flesh gets drawn in. Somewhere underneath, there is something constructive, something worthy of addressing, but in that moment we’re so entangled in the sin, we cannot reach it.

It’s not just possible but an absolutely certainty that I still struggle with meltdowns even more than my child.

Mine are not as loud as my child’s. Mine are very soft, quiet, and occur almost entirely in my own head. They sound even more awful, those negative tracks that play. They tell me of how terrible I am as a person, how lonely and rejected I am, how inadequate and unacceptable is my work/body/life.

And yet I know there is something constructive under there, something deep in need of dealing, and so I begin engaging them, wrestling with these voices. But the more I dig, the more entangled I become, and while I, at my heart, desire to tend, nurture, solve, and grow through this process–much like my motivation with my child–it does not seem to happen. And then the voices reach chorus level, because: look now, you’ve failed again! See how we’ve proved ourselves right!

Sin is a nasty bitch.

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.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Sin entangles us so easily, and I am helping it out. I imagine that I need to wrestle with this issue as Jacob wrestled, and then I remember: Jacob wrestled with GOD. Not sin. Sin entangles; God sets us free.

Instead of wrestling with sin–just in the moment–I need to reject it. Reject it and RUN. Do not stand around and consider what was just cast off. “Run with perseverance the race marked out for us”–because whatever that issue is, it’s not as important as what God has planned for me: “For we are God’s handiwork,created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Those voices are lies, created by the Father of Lies, and the reason Satan’s go-to weapon is words is because they do entangle so easily. I think I’m making progress when really I’m just delving deeper into the sin. I begin to define myself by those lies instead of being who I’m created to be: a worker for our Lord.

That work begins with rejection, with running, and with fixing our eyes on the only One truly able to get to the heart of the problem without becoming entangled in the sin because He is the one who defeated sin. He is “the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” the One who can now attack our sin with joy because He knows He will always win because He has already won. He maybe probably definitely the One who should be handling my heart.

So my question is, are you engaging your sin or rejecting it? Are you focused on who you define yourself to be or who you were created to be? No matter how convincing those voices sound, if they don’t reflect the Fruit of the Spirit, they are lies, and if you truly want to be set free, that’s a job for the God.