It wasn't the first time I had asked myself this question, nor, I fear, will it be the last. Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you understand all too well what it's like to fall back into a bad habit or forbidden sin. If so, you can comprehend my frustration.
Last week was one of the best, most productive weeks I've had in a very long time. With wrapping up the ends of one book and beginning the planning process of another, I was full of motivation and passion for the work God had given me to do. Overall, my health cooperated and didn't hinder me from accomplishing my daily goals. My mind, though buzzing with ideas, felt free as a bird, uncluttered (for a change) by worry and anxiety. I felt close to the Lord as if He were literally walking by my side as I followed His will for my life. And even though I knew things were far from perfect in my life, I felt content.
And then the storm began. First, it was a letter bearing bad news. Drip! Then it was five (yes, five!) friends/family members who contacted me, asking for prayer about major issues they were struggling with in their lives. Drip, drip! Then there was the "in your face" reminder that Jason's weekly paycheck sported a whopping 25 hours. . . again! Boom!!!! And suddenly, I felt my happy little world crumble.
It wasn't the letter or the phone calls or the measly paycheck that rocked my world though they certainly didn't help. But rather, it was the result of those things. After a week or more of resting soundly in the grip of God's faithfulness, I felt the tug of anxiety on my soul. At first, it was a mere annoyance. But as the trials of the week grew, I found myself thinking less about God and more about my problems. My writing focus became more centered around profitability than on writing what God wanted me to write and leaving the results to Him. My mind, that only a few days before had been a placid pond, was now a roaring turbulence of thoughts on how to "fix" things before they get any worse. And that's when I uttered the question I've become far too familiar with: "What is wrong with me?"
I had been making progress, finally leaving worry and anxiety in my wake. It hadn't been easy to make it so far, but the Lord helped me reach a new place in my spiritual walk, and I was happy there. And then I blew it! A few raindrops and claps of thunder sent me crawling back to my old ways, and when I realized how far I had fallen, I felt ashamed. And confused. Hasn't God proven Himself faithful to me time and again? Haven't we faced tougher situations than this? Didn't He always work it out somehow? Yes, yes, and yes! So, what's my problem? Why did I fall back to my old habit of worry? Why did I allow the storm to take away my serenity? What's wrong with me?
The same thing that's wrong with you. We're humans living in a fallen world. We're not perfect and never will be this side of Heaven. We mess up. We fall down. We fall back. But you know what? God knew all of this about us before He sent His Son to die for us. Before such a great sacrifice, God knew exactly who we would be and what we would do. He knew that we would fall. He even knew how often we would fall, yet He still loved us enough to offer His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for us. And as if that weren't enough (which it is), He promises to help us when we fall. He doesn't laugh at our misfortune. He doesn't shake His head and mutter, "What's wrong with you?" No, in love, He reaches down and lifts us from our self-made pit. Why? Because of a love so strong that it can never be broken, not even by our mistakes.
Whatever you've done, God still loves you. No matter how far you've strayed, He will take you back. He longs to lift you up, dust you off, and shower you with blessings of His love. Don't sit there pouting about your hard times or giving yourself a guilt trip about your recent slip-up. Get up. Get over it. And get back in God's will. I can't guarantee you things will be easy, but I can guarantee you that there will be peace and contentment. Who knows? Maybe you'll even find a bit of joy as you dance in the rain.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39