Like devouring black insects they settle on me, these swarms of self-destructive thoughts.

Graphic imaginings. I try to push them away, thrashing around internally, but these thoughts persist. Buzzing at me, biting into me, infecting my heart with poison.

They need competition, so I open and read. Letting the words wash over me — Job of all places — and after five chapters the swarm has been beaten back. The buzzing blackness still threatens, though for now better thoughts have lifted my eyes to God. I realize a life is not mine to dispose of. Misery can be endured.

Later, I read of living the resurrection and the Spirit brings to mind His words: I said to you in your blood, Live! (Ezekiel 16:6 ESV).

Those words, these thoughts — strangely fitting.

The fight continues, but now I know my King has not only ordered me to keep battling, He also fights alongside me.

There is an element of this life of mine which does need to die — sin. But the killing is not mine to do. Jesus ordains life, my Father willed that I be born (John 1:13) and the Spirit of resurrection is actively giving life to this mortal body (Romans 8:11).

So I am holding fast to the word of life (Philippians 2:16), knowing this is God’s will at so many levels. It is comforting to have this boundary firmly fixed, redirecting me from death to resurrection.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

(Romans 8:11 ESV)

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney / CC BY-ND

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