November 19

November 19, 2020
By Gabriel Tseng

Friend or Foe

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24

I sometimes skip meals. Sometimes on accident, but frequently on purpose. The unintended consequence is that I am hungry, and I’m acutely aware of that hunger as the minutes on the clock tick by ever so slowly. I begin to plan and dwell on, I dream of giant omelettes filled with cheese and sausage, and before long, I find myself staring into the refrigerator and watching cooking videos. I am reminded each day that this hunger is appropriate, good, and designed to remind me to be aware of myself and my need for God. 

I am prompted often to reflect on my own brokenness and dependence on food, but ultimately of God. I am reminded that He is God, and I am not. My hunger and my mistakes remind me so. I find that in 1 John 2:16-17, there are the three enemies of that spiritual life in my own brokenness, the world’s brokenness, and an actual enemy in Satan that brings an assault on the life of the spiritual pilgrim. I find that often, these 3 enemies will work in tandem to paralyse, to discourage, and to make me feel quite inadequate to the point that I’m spiralling downwards and rehearsing in my heart of hearts the many reasons why God can’t love me. It’s so easy to lie to myself. Spiritual warfare is real. 

I am often reminded that my own worst enemy is not always outside, but often sinfully within. I was blissfully ignorant of this before becoming a Christian. As I have journeyed thus far, I have found that having news eyes has been a “curse,” in that I see myself much more clearly than before. I have also tasted the good and sweet, daily bread that comes when I am most famished and in need. I don’t like to see my own brokenness or how that brokenness contributes to the pain of others, but it is undeniable that the Lord has great plans in breaking, remaking, and molding me into Christlikeness. 

It is rarely pleasant, but He is Kind, Merciful, and full of good bread to bind up, nurture, and feed the weary and heavy laden who will come to Him. A broken and contrite heart He will not despise. 

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