It’s been a rough week.

Sunday morning. I’m standing in church, singing and praising God, when I felt it. A quiet thought pressed into my heart. Nothing loud or really thought provoking. Not some big life mystery that I’d been pondering or even insight into any of the situations I’d been praying about. Just a single, quiet, sentence, that ended just as fast as it began.

“It’s going to be hard again.”

I pressed my lips together and opened my eyes, glancing up.

“What is?” I asked in an equally quiet voice. In my head, the image of God smiling came to mind, and I felt an impression that I’d be okay, no matter what. I think I jotted it down absently in my journal and returned to worship, dismissing the situation. When it got hard, then I’d worry about it. I’d face whatever it was with God by my side, and I’d be okay.

The Difficult Times

Well, what do you know, just that night things got hard.

A fellow student and very close friend decided to leave the program I’m in. She told me that night. Then, Tuesday, the battery on my car went out for the third time in the past two months, and now it won’t keep a charge. Wednesday afternoon became the battle of the wasps, as the buzzing creatures of the devil flew through my air vents and into my apartment. By Thursday night, I felt completely and utterly defeated.

I remember telling God as I lay in bed something along the lines of ‘well, that didn’t take long. Four days in and I’m already feeling defeated and unhappy about what’s happened instead of choosing joy. You chose one hell of a soldier, huh? I’m sorry I’m not a better warrior yet.’

“What does your body do when it’s exposed to a virus?”

The question popped suddenly, and intently, into my head. I stopped and pondered it for a second, sensing that this was something God wanted me to consider.

“Uh—You get a cold, I guess, and your body slows down while it fights it off. Your nose gets clogged or runny, and you cough.” I answered. “Uncomfortable things, but ultimately, it’s how you designed us to handle viruses and, while uncomfortable, still works to protect my body and get the virus out.”

“Then what do your emotions do when you are exposed to lies of the enemy?”

Spiritual Colds

My mouth dropped. Suddenly, it seemed a whole lot more about life made sense. Maybe instead of moping about being mopey, I needed to give my body (and myself) grace as I fought off the disparity around me. Maybe feeling sad wasn’t just ‘something bad’, but something I was designed to feel.

Think about it like this. When you feel sad, what do you do? You don’t smile as much, you’re slow and withdrawn. Maybe you even reach out and tell a friend you’re sad. In turn, what does the community around you do? When they see you’re slower, or more withdrawn, they reach out. Maybe they distract you or act silly to try and lighten the mood. In the end, they try to encourage and comfort you, right?

This is God’s immune system, that he has designed, to naturally fight off the enemy!

Just as a runny nose happens to remove things that don’t belong, perhaps sometimes feeling sad or emotionally run down does the same. Maybe instead of beating ourselves up for not feeling 100% we should give ourselves grace and allow the community around us to help—and in turn, when a member of our community seems withdrawn or sad, to reach out and do the same!

It doesn’t always work out like this. Sometimes our community and how we relate to it is broken. We bring past hurts and pains that color how we view others and how they treat us. When the situation is like this, it’s more of an auto-immune disease. It’s not working how God designed it… But that’s another blog for another day.

How do you treat spiritual colds?

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