It hit the morning after the memorial, and I began to dwell on it. Meditate on it. The What Ifs and If Onlys descended upon me like a crushing weight. Nights became days, because I could not sleep. My head would hit the pillow and my mind would become instantly flooded with unwelcome thoughts that came to life in my mind’s eye. There were times I could feel Panic and Anxiety breathing down my neck, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.
The Holy Spirit made repeated efforts to alert me to the dangers that lay before me, the risk I was taking as I followed after Grief. The Saxophone Player prayed for me, talked with me, listened to me, encouraged me from the Word, and reminded me of those glorious truths I was ignoring.
There were moments when even I became concerned for myself. I felt Grief clutching at my throat and robbing my breath. I couldn’t turn away from it, though; I couldn’t reject it. I just kept yielding to Grief. Gone can be a very overwhelming word, and the Enemy convinced me that Grief would keep my Mother with me. It would keep her from being gone.
So, I meditated on my sadness, my loss, and my heartache. Day after day, night after night. I had made Grief an idol: I placed it on the throne of my heart, and allowed it to rule over me.
We are all susceptible to this temptation—the temptation to exalt something in our life to the status of idolatry. It doesn’t matter who we are, or how long we’ve walked with the Lord, either. If there is anything in our lives that Satan can use to fashion an idol, he will—and, he will use it to bring separation between us and God.
The Holy Spirit was there with me throughout that season—thank You, Lord! After three months (was it four?) of worshiping at the altar of Grief, I finally heeded the voice of the Holy Spirit. He helped me realize what I was doing, the deception of the Enemy that I had submitted to, and the ultimate end Satan had in store for me. I stopped dead in my tracks and prayed, repented, received God’s forgiveness, and turned around. I never looked back. I received my deliverance, and held onto it as the great treasure it is—won for me by Christ at the cross of Calvary.
Oh, yes, I still miss my Mother. How can I not? A day doesn’t pass, without me wishing she was still here. I will always miss her, remember her, and look forward to seeing her, again. However, I will never again entertain the idol of Grief. I will never again forget that her work here was finished, but mine is not. I must be busy about the Master’s business.
Beware of idolatry, friends. It supplants God’s will and purpose. It contradicts God and and all He has done for us. Whether our idol is our emotions, our illness, our brokenness, our prosperity, our loss, our health, our family—we know it has become an idol, because it takes precedence over obedience to God. Deliverance from idolatry is free, though.
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Psalm 50:15 (NKJV)