My family and I live in the North Georgia Foothills, a hilly place, just miles from the southern trail-head of the Appalachian trail. Living in such rolling terrain, you learn to deal with erosion. Erosion is the gradual wearing away of soil by water, wind, and storms. Webster’s says that to erode is to “eat into or away; destroy by slow consumption or disintegration; synonym: grind” and the origin of the word means “to gnaw.” Gnawing, that’s what has been going on in my life for much of this year.
There’s been nothing devastating, just a steady gnawing and grinding of the normal, everyday “tough-stuff-happens” kind of year. No hurricanes or catastrophes, just a constant wearing away of energy, joy, and peace with the grinding and gnawing of irritating stuff.
You know the kind of stuff: you have a good job, but the money just isn’t going quite as far as it needs to; no one is seriously or fatally ill, but there is a constant barrage of everyday illnesses and minor accidents zapping everyone’s health, energy and mood; everyone in your sphere seems to be edgy, on-edge and just plain irritable; minor traffic accidents that put a further cramp on limited time, money, and energy; crazy-busy, hectic days filled to overflowing with no time to pause, reflect and just breathe deeply. Just the normal, everyday events that everyone experiences, and sometimes there seems to be more of it all at once–wearing you down, gnawing at your energy, your contentment, your peace…not soil erosion, soul erosion.
When you’re facing the devastating onslaught of a demon hurricane, you immediately go into crisis mode. As a Christian, you fall to your knees and FOCUS–on Christ, the Center of your ultimate existence, the Creator of your life, the One who holds your plan in His heart and hands. It becomes easy to focus on Him, because to focus anywhere else allows you to see the enemy of destruction beating at your door. For me, the hurricane was breast cancer.
While I fought cancer, God was my center, my refuge, my source of comfort and strength. I was focused on one goal–beating death and finding life. I was focused on Him and health, not the daily grind. It is a myopic way to live, but necessary when you are fighting such a powerful enemy.
Now that my health has returned, and I have reentered the real world, the real world is attacking with a vengeance; and for some reason, the daily grind has caught me totally off-guard. Now, I have soul erosion. Somehow, instead of living “the good life” I have allowed “the good life” to erode my joy–but I am ready to fight back.
Anyone who has lived in mountainous or rugged terrain knows that in order to stop the erosion you must put up special mesh fences guarding the soil from immediate erosion, while giving young plants time to grow, their roots spreading under the surface, creating a tight, protective web, keeping the soil from washing away during the heavy storms to come.
For a Christian, the mesh fence is prayer. You must stay in prayer to keep your focus on The One who is the author of joy. The protecting web of roots is Bible study–delving deep into His word to establish a firm and binding relationship with Him, while once again focusing on His love and joy and finding His purpose for your existence. These are soul erosion protectors, and they are necessary for maintaining your joy in the daily grind.
holly nichols tabor, glimpsejoyLeave a Comment
Soul Erosion | glimpse joy says
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This is a great post. When things are hard, I find that I tend to pray a lot and become so close to the Lord. When things get easier, sometimes I find I become complacent. (Or the erosion?) This is something I have been working at. Thanks for the reminder.
Well said, Lisa! Complacency is definitely what we need to avoid. Praying we can both avoid it by delving deeper into God’s word!
Well said, Holly. My body is filled with so much pain and fatigue today. Going to get in His Word some more and get revived. Thanks for the encouragement.
So sorry to hear that you are hurting today, Lucille! I will definitely be praying for God’s loving hand to hold you, comfort you and fill your heart with His peace today…and every day.
Celeste Hill says
I want to thank you for your post and congratulate you on overcoming your battle with cancer. HE is better than He has to be, Praise Him.
I have that kind of year. A season of a dear boss passing suddenly. We were yucking it up on Thursday evening at close of business, he graciously gave me Friday off to spend with our teenage son. It was a glorious day with our son and then that phone call no one wants of the passing of Tom.
Life moves forward The Lord’s presence so tangible through the storm, then transitioning me to a working home office, the adjustment of an office of 1 down to 2 after nine years.
The continous travel of my Man for his job, the death of my Aunt (she is healed and with Jesus), the ugly diagnosis of a best buddy from the 3rd grade (we are both 50 years old) with Aplastic Anemia and the possiblity of a bone marrow transplant looming in her future.
The decline in health of my Grandmother (she needs Jesus, not religion) she is 94 years old and it is to be expected, but it’s never pleasent.
And so I cry out to Him that has been my shelter, my strength, my cloak, and ask him to not leave and be ever present in these trying times.
So desperate sometimes to not feel so alone, and then the knowing I am never alone. Fighting the fiery darts and lies and speaking God’s word out loud (advantage of working by one’s self) to combat the lies and hear myself speak the truth.
Feeling like a failure for not being able to get to women’s bible study every 2 weeks, at the same time my quiet time is so treasured and I play worship music through out my work day.
And feeling as if another item is added to my plate, that I and that plate will shatter into pieces.
Again thank you for this post and giving me the ability to respond.
May the Lord bless and keep you and forever speak His healing word into your life.
Until HE shouts,
Beth Williams says
Praying for a better year next year! May God wrap His loving/healing arms around you daily!
Yes, daily, prayer. Reading Gods Words. The Bible. And singing to Him. These help me each and every day. I often just start singinging Allelujah and my voice moves on to praises that just flow. I also sing hymns of my childhood. I’m amazed how many words come flooding back!
Count Blessings–5 every single day!
Count five ways you are wonderfully made by God–every day!! Like my nose is a nice size, my cells do their job, my nails grow strong, all and any
All this I do..as I battle effects of traumatic brain injury with declining brain function
Steph Shackelford @BeEmbraced says
I love the metaphor you use of soul erosion. It it so often the little snares in daily life that Satan tries to catch me on. I love the idea of putting up fences of prayer. Thanks for the encouragement!
Beth Williams says
Lately my soul has been eroded. Work is super super busy and dealing with my aging father. Just seems like I go go go to work, Bible study, see my dad 1+ times a week, etc.
I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round filled with stressors and I’m not the kind of Christian I want to be. I try to pray often (7 times daily) & sing praises, listen to Christian music all the time–it helps some, but not always@
Perhaps with holidays looming and time off I can stop the complete erosion of my soul@
Holly ~ I’m so sorry I missed this! Such great nuggets of truth in this and I love the “erosion” metaphor. Its so easy to get caught up in the scramble of every day and lose focus on the One who sustains us always- not just in crisis- but in the every day as well. Thank you for your fresh perspective!! So great to read your words here!
Elangwe Christina says
Thanks so much for sharing. My own erosion is dealing with invisible and unseen forces that are bent on stopping me from reaching my goals and accomplishing my God-given destiny. You can imagine fighting battles with things you don’t see. Just as the Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and the like. Recently I lost a great deal of money through a very bad deal all because of those demonic powers that are out to frighten and frustrate me. But I know that I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus