Jon 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
Jon 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
Jon 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
Jon 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Jon 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
Jon 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
Jon 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
Jon 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
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I have been having a VERY hard time lately. Really more of the same, just a lot more. Two jobs at my job meaning, I have two full time positions and only 40 hours in which to do the work. My home life is mostly insane. Basically there is no peace anywhere I go. It's all very chaotic. My wife has said many times that I "get to go to work" while she stays home with the kids. I've never really agreed with that because where I work is a pressure cooker with lots of money at stake, if you believe what management tells you. I believe them and I don't. I don't think decisions I make are largely responsible for us making money. I can, however, cause us to lose a lot of money. That's the fun...don't make a mistake. Ever. One of my jobs has always been that way, so I'm used to it. The other position I picked up about 9 months ago. I really like the job, but my management has no idea how much work is involved in doing this even reasonably well. Previous engineers have allowed things to slide to the point where I'm about a year behind. It's not their fault. They were forced to split time as well. The problem now is that I had to buy a next generation tool and it just came in and needs to be qualified. I'm not getting the kind of support I was hoping for, so that's an extra load. So now if my wife were to tell me that I get to go to work, I actually get angry. Where once I could go there and be under pressure but at least be dealing with logic, now the place if filled with blame-placing and grand-standing. Problem solving seems to be secondary. The game has changed and I don't think I understand the rules.
In a nut shell, I have reached the point where I can't do my job right and things are so crazy at home that no matter where I go, I'm in the wrong place and no matter what choice I make, it's the wrong one. If I dare to rest, I feel guilty and know that I will pay for my time off.
We are still living with a neighbor who hates us and continues his constant stalking and harassment. We still have bats in the attic despite ridiculous amounts of effort and money spent. So much extra garbage. Too much for me sometimes. I have been saying for a while that I feel like I'm in the valley of the shadow of death. God's rod and staff seem to be at work. God just keeps allowing these things to persist and other things to be added to the pile.
And as often happens to me (most people, I presume), when I'm this busy and distracted of mind, I haven't been praying or reading my bible almost at all. Prayer is definitely suffering. I have no peace.
A couple of days ago, I decided I'd had enough of Facebook and deactivated my account. I've given thought to telling the worship team at church not to put me on the list any more. I only play about every three months anyway. They just don't need me as a drummer. There are more than enough drummers. I also almost didn't go to the men's study on Saturday morning. Almost. I am so grateful that this bible study started. So, I went. I didn't want to and I actually planned to just sit there. Kinda checking out of my own life. Nice attitude, huh? But while I was there, God actually encouraged me. Not because I asked for it or deserved it. It's just who God is. We were talking about the soul. Specifically about its being insatiable. No matter how much we feed it, it's never full. If we were to fill it, in a short time, that would become normal and then our soul would be hungry again. Pastor was talking about Solomon as an example. He also made the point that if someone were to offer you the entire world as yours, it would be amazing for some period of time. But, as previously mentioned, that would become normal. The only way to fill your soul's hunger is with the infinite. God. God is the only one who can satisfy the hunger in our souls. While Pastor was talking about that, I was reminded of Jesus's third temptation. Satan took Jesus to the top of a mountain and showed him the whole world and offered Jesus the entire world if He would bow down to Satan. Jesus's response has always interested me. He said "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matt. 4:10. Jesus's response is more than just telling Satan that He will only worship God. I think it's also an example to us confirming that only God can fulfill us. Only the infinite God has the resources to satisfy our souls.
The exciting part of this for me isn't that God gave me that further insight into that verse of scripture. It's that God gave me anything AT ALL. I went to church with every intention of just sitting there more or less ignoring everything and then leaving. But God wanted me to know that He hasn't left my side. I know as Christians, we say that all the time. Scripture reinforces it. But when you are in one of the darkest times of your life and you wonder why God doesn't make it all stop and give you a break, something as simple as this little insight can bring you back up so you feel like your head is above water again. We are still in the valley. God hasn't led us out yet. But He's still leading us, when we allow Him to that is. God is faithful.
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