I don’t throw pity parties too often, but when I do I always want to cut them short. Though I don’t like to feel sorry for myself, sometimes the “woe is me” thoughts descend like a gray fog. My vision is dimmed and I can’t see anything beyond the gloom that blurs my view.
Recently, commiseration settled inside of me and I wanted to shake it off sooner than later. So I told God, “You know, I could really use a dose of encouragement right now.”
Since I no longer ask for a specific kind of relief, I simply left my need with him and watched for whatever might show up.
A Mighty Fortress
It wasn’t long before a song popped into my mind and I pulled the old hymnal held together by duck tape, off my shelf. I flipped through the yellowed pages and read the words from A Mighty Fortress is Our God. The lyrics to this song were written by Martin Luther. I’ve heard of him, read a little about him and know he had some personal struggles with his faith. So I suspect the words he wrote are a reflection of some of his personal and profound pain.
One phrase in particular caught my eye as well as my heart. “For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe…” I was reminded that I have an old foe, an enemy, who is as real as the God who is for me. I’ve read a little about my foe, how he was once beautiful, but also arrogant and how his pride took him, literally, down from heaven. Now, he prowls around, looking for those whom he can undo.
He doesn’t have to look too long or too far. At times, I easily take his bait, hook, line and sinker. Then I find myself submerged under the prevailing mortal ills that abound in this world. I suppose that is why I found myself at my own pity party. I had become encased by a lie so easily woven by my enemy. Lies are his specialty. He keeps them simple and that is why they are so easy to believe.
Since there hadn’t been a phone call to cancel school like I’d secretly hoped for, I headed off to work where I immediately found a fairly modern version of this song performed by a university band. Alone in my classroom, I blasted the music while getting ready for my students.
I listened to that song at least three times every day that week and repeatedly sang along with that rock band the truth, “We will not fear for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.”
God’s truths are simple too and take away the lies that threaten to undo us. And so the more I remembered that God wills his truth to triumph through me, the more my pity party receded and finally came to an end.
Why bother with a pity party? Though at times we can’t seem to refute the invitation to feel sorry for ourselves, in the midst of our company of one, we can invite another who always wins the battle for us.