For the first time since we moved back to our New Orleans office after the Katrina Exodus to Baton Rouge, I was thankful for the half wall in front of me. Like the first love of my life, Popeye, I “had alls I could stands and I could stands no more.” So at that point, I could do nothing but put my head in my hands and cry. Because of the wall, the only one who could see me was the person that sits next to me. He handed me a tissue and I composed myself just enough to make it to the restroom and really let it out.
The straw that broke the floodgate of tears (I just made up my own colloquialism!) was weirdness between a co-worker and myself…and (if I am being honest) being deprived of the attention I am used to getting from said co-worker. But this was, by no means, anything that would normally send me to the ladies room in tears, it was just one more thing than I could handle at the moment.
The truth is everything is hard right now. No matter what area of my life you care to look at, its hard – challenging - being tested – forcing me to stretch – and my flesh is screaming. Work was (up until last week) the only “safe haven” I had…the only place where things weren’t hard…where they actually felt good. I say “felt” good, because the Lord has been faithful to show me that though everything else feels anything but good…it is. Work had become my refuge…my escape…what brought a smile to my face.
I’ve never said that about work in my life.
But that is what it was. As I realized this in my teary restroom retreat, my heart sank and I knew whence this turnabout had come…I should be looking to the Lord to be my refuge from all that is hard…not work.
With that realization, the tears flowed all the more and for a moment there, I was sure I would be in the restroom for the rest of the day. But the Lord never allows me to remain in the self-imposed condemnation that initially follows my realization of sin. He is ever faithful and kind and lifts me out of that and into thoughts of forgiveness and of what good will come from repentance.