Lord of My Crappy Mood

If God is the Lord of my life, it follows that He must also be Lord of my moods, right? Tough area for us moderns because we are a moody people.

Today’s Christians have a lot of things right. We know that God doesn’t care if we dress up as long as we show up. We know it’s not so much about ritual as it is about relationship. We get that the practice of our faith has to extend beyond the walls of the church.

Christians of today strive to be real, authentic, relational and personal with God and that’s a beautiful thing.

Until that morning when we open God’s word with great expectation and nothing happens. I mean, nothing. It’s like we’re eating cold, stale, unbuttered toast. So we freeze momentarily and think. What could be the problem?

No problem. It’s just a fluke. We try a different passage of scripture, one that has always been meaningful before. The love feeling will kick in soon. But, nope. Nada. We’re not feeling it. No power. No connection.

Maybe that’s it, we think. We haven’t prayed. So we pray but the words come out like a spray of dry crackers and our mouths taste like we’re chewing lima beans. Nothing. We’re not feeling anything but frustrated and slightly confused.

Ever happen to you? It has to me. And for a modern believer who is all about being authentic and real and personal it can be as scary as the first time you looked at your spouse and thought “Why did I marry you?” (Come on, we’ve all been there.)

One answer I’ve found to this problem comes from something we modern believers left behind in that discarded pile of organ music, Sunday suits and Easter bonnets. For centuries, many Christians prayed set prayers at set times of the day and read a verse or two of scripture. The prayers they prayed were written prayers– other people’s words – and they often prayed the same prayers every day.

Monastics called this “praying the offices”. Having grown up a little Baptist girl in the sixties, it seemed like a foreign, almost heretical practice – using other people’s words to pray. And yet, during a dry toast period in my relationship with God it became restorative, powerful and enlightening. The single scripture verses were like soothing ice chips to my battered soul and amazingly potent for one so accustomed to drinking God’s word from a fire hose.

Praying words written by another Christian in another time, another century, brings me out of my moment and I am standing with a multitude of believers who faced the same God with the same struggles even though my technological life wouldn’t even have entered many of their fantasies. I learn from them, am comforted and inspired by them and I find their words give voice to what I sometimes cannot.

Praying the same prayers day after day hasn’t actually become a dry ritual for me – in fact – I find it reminds me that while my moods vary, God does not change. I may wax and wane, but He does not. Most days these written prayers are only a lead in to prayer –they prime the pump of my spirit and provide a channel through which my own words can flow.

I think that sometimes as a modern believer, I am so focused on MY relationship with God that I neglect to consider OUR relationship with God, the family of believers, the Church. Perhaps that is why those dry spells strike, so we are forced to move outside our own little prayer cells and seek the counsel of another who knows and loves the same God.

I was feeling dry today and turned to a familiar website for praying the offices. Here are the verses that were today’s reading:

Psalm 38:9 “All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.”

Song of Songs 5:8 “8 O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you— if you find my lover, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.

John 4:13-14 “13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

God used these verses, the prayer and the reading about poverty of spirit to move me, to direct me, to speak to me, to minister to a weary area of my heart I wouldn’t have found without His guidance through the words of an ancient believer.

We are a moody people but God knows that because He designed us. The good news is that moods are not an invention of modern believers, they’ve been around for centuries and we can call on the experience of those ancient brothers and sisters for assistance in overcoming. We modern believers have many things right but we can still learn from those who came before.

If He is Lord of my life, He is also Lord of my moods – even the crappy ones. Selah.


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9 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Andrea says:

    Thanks for posting from you heart. GOD always speaks to me when I come here.
    Hugs,
    andrea

  2. Thank you, Andrea. I was just praying for you today as I hadn’t heard from you in a while. God bless.

  3. Thanks for the posting, Lori…I so enjoy your straightforward, open and honest writing : ) I have to admit…I laughed out loud. Have a blessed day!

  4. Maurie@GraciousInteriors.blogspot says:

    You hit the bull’s eye for me today. I followed the pattern you described…then I read from Valley of Vision, a book of Puritan prayers. Refreshingly, they expressed my heart and reminded me of God’s mercy so much better than I could. I was away last week, so haven’t checked in for awhile. Blessings to you.

  5. It always pleases me to hear I brought laughter to someone’s day, Colleen. Good to see you!

  6. Thanks for the book reference, Maurie. Trust your time away was refreshing! Welcome back.

  7. Cheri says:

    Great post! Like a refreshing drink from a cool spring, as I am in a dry place at the moment.

    Hugs and blessings,
    Cheri

  8. Great post, Lori,
    I hang out over and over with Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word book of scriptures. Gets me going when Isaiah(my favorite) doesn’t!

  9. When I’m feeling down, there are many times I come to face book and read a posting such as this one, and I am blessed and revived! Blessings to you!