Spiritual Inversion

spiritual-inversionEvery fall in the Northwest we experience a weather pattern called an “inversion”.  An inversion weather pattern creates overcast and foggy conditions in the valleys making it cold, damp and dismal. The valleys and low areas are where most people live and work, so they’re often oblivious to the fact that the depressing weather they’re experiencing is localized. Sometimes an inversion will go on for days and can feel very oppressive. But travel a couple thousand feet higher in elevation during an inversion and you’ll burst out of the fog and dampness into warm, dry sunny skies! Not only is the sunshine revitalizing, but the view from above the clouds provides a bigger perspective on life.

All of us from time to time experience an “inversion” in our spiritual lives as well. We seem to get buried under the clouds of our daily grind. We forget the sunshine of God’s grace and presence and feel oppressed by trials and hardship. If relationships around us have grown cold our discomfort deepens and we may become joyless, sad and even depressed.

When we begin to feel a spiritual inversion coming on, the worst thing we can do is isolate in the valley and dark corners of our existence! And yet that is precisely what we are prone to do. Instead, climb above the oppressive spiritual fog and expose yourself to the warmth of God’s presence and love. There are several ways we can do this.

If you find yourself slipping into or immersed in a spiritual inversion, spend time in God’s Word—lots of it. Devour it like you would a favorite novel. Let his Word warm your soul and lift you up. Spend time in the Psalms or the Gospels. Rehearse the promises of God from great chapters like Romans 8 or Hebrews 11. Go to God’s Word to meet with him. “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

Another method for climbing out of the fog and dampness of spiritual inversion is to spend time talking to God, thanking him and praising him for his goodness and faithfulness. In the face of trials and even the humdrum of daily life, we so quickly forget how awesome, how great, how majestic our God is! Tell him anew what you know to be true of his character and works in your life.

“I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.” (Psalm 145:1-2) Read the rest of that Psalm and make it your personal prayer!

A third powerful means for getting out of the spiritual fog and darkness of despair is to spend time with a trusted friend or spiritual partner. When we’re hurting we often crawl into a hole and mope, which only worsens our condition! Force yourself to seek out someone who can pray with you and challenge you. Don’t be satisfied with a friend who adds to your gloom. Spend time with another follower of Christ who will lift you up.
The following Proverbs describe the kind of words you want others to speak into your life: “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. The lips of the righteous nourish many. The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom. The lips of the righteous know what is fitting. The tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 10:11, 21, 31, 32; 12:18)

©2009 Rob Fischer

1 comment

1 julie { 10.29.09 at 11:40 am }

If only I had this to contemplate a few years ago instead of going it alone and falling into despair…..the advice speaks to my past directly and I know your advice to be valid. Thank you on behalf of all those you will help…..