“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20 NASB
“The real spiritual journey is work. You can make a naïve assertion that you trust in Jesus, but until it is tested a good, oh, 200 times, I doubt very much that it’s true.” — Richard Rohr
I pass on dessert and I feel deprived.
I give up drinking and I feel deprived.
I budget my salary and I feel deprived.
I stay home to parent my child and I feel deprived of a career full of money, accolades, attention and notoriety.
I become a Christian and I feel deprived. Others think so too. Can’t do this and I can’t do that. Are you sure God will take care of you? Really? What about… fill in the blank. It comes and many times out of left field.
Am I deprived? Or just feeling like I am.
Deprivation lies are so easy to sink into. Deprivation lies grow into self-pity and/or self-centeredness, envy of some kind. It’s the battle in the mind and eventually the soul. I do feel deprived! It’s not true I’m deprived, but oh how it feels sometimes. We forget the so-called deprivations we choose are made to obtain something much greater like a healthier body, a child growing up loved and secure, and to become more like Christ now and eternally.
Most of the habits I picked up were awful in the beginning: the first cigarette, sip of beer, shady boyfriend/girlfriend. And so we “learn” to like, stuff the pain with it, be seduced by what is obviously harmful and feel deprived when we give it up. And we give it up over and over and over.
Now some experiences were and are deprivations: absence of a loving home, job closure, divorce, hunger, death of a parent/spouse/child. These need to be recognized, affirmed, prayed over and shared with a reliable person such as a pastor, counselor or trusted friend. Healing. But trouble comes when we use food, booze, drugs, people to fix the pain. Like trying to clean a stain and watching the stain get bigger and bigger because we’ve now got two problems: Our pain and an addiction. Only One can clean the stain completely. The bad feelings don’t disappear overnight, but it happens.
You never promised an easy journey, but you did promise to never leave us. When we are feeling low, deprived, frightened, struggling with a problem, remind us of all the times you worked in our lives in the past, especially what your son did for us. Remind us of your promises for the future and help us to live fully today.