Even as I wrote the post Trusting God Even More in 2018, I was struggling, wrestling with God. Shortly thereafter, without realizing it, I was running from God. Y’all, this wasn’t years or months ago, this was as recently as this week. Maybe you can identify with my struggle. It might be for different reasons, it might look different in your life when you run from God, but many of us do it and don’t even realize it.
Since my brother died recently, I have had many conversations with several family members about others in our family that are no longer with us. It has brought fresh grief that I thought was mostly healed. We’ve also talked about some events that have stirred up a lot of emotion from the past. In addition to grief over missing them, there are some family members that I don’t have perfect peace about if they’re in heaven.
It’s just all felt so heavy some days. Even when I wasn’t purposely thinking about any of those things. It all just weighed on me with a feeling of heaviness.
Even praying about the sadness or anxiety has been painful and I’ve just wanted to escape feeling so much.
I didn’t mean to, but in an effort to escape thinking about these things, I subconsciously kept myself from having any idle time in my mind to think about anything.
Not too long before this, I had been chugging along, working toward my goal of reading the whole Bible through. I was using the Bible in a year plan, but had already seen it was going to take me a little longer and I was ok with that. Some days my Bible and prayer time began to feel heavy and some of the Old Testament reading was hard to think about. I didn’t mean to, but I began to slack off and not make time for it. Before I knew it, I was hardly reading my Bible at all.
One day I’m walking closely with God and the next thing I know I’m running the other direction.
I shared earlier that in my own life, God has allowed some pretty tragic events. Even though I can look back and see how He brings good from every little thing, sometimes I still feel anxious or fearful about the future in a way that I wish I didn’t.
How I’ve dealt with this fear has been different at every stage of life. When my kids were younger, and raising them took all I could think about or accomplish in a day, I didn’t live in a state of anxiety. Although I have struggled with fear for a long time, overall, my position was a feeling of confidence that no matter what God would bring me through.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes God scares the daylights out of me.
I never hear other Christians say that. I can’t be the only one that feels that way? I mean, have you ever read the Old Testament? Sometimes the way God works and the things he allows are outside of my human ability to understand. When I think on Old Testament events or ponder sickness and death and tragedies that we currently hear about on a daily basis, it’s just overwhelming some days.
My house is quieter now and that allows for a more idle mind. Although I really do think that’s part of it, I also feel sure there are hormones affecting my state of mind in this menopausal phase of life. Whatever the cause, I’m ready to be out from under this feeling! As a means of avoiding negative thoughts, fears, any feeling of heaviness, I’ve recently gotten out of balance with activities that are usually a good thing for me.
What it looks like when you run from God might be different, but I have learned to recognize what it looks like for me. When I’m running from intimacy with God I tend to never let my mind be idle. I will listen to books, watch tv, phone friends…..keep my MIND BUSY AT ALL TIMES. None of these things are bad things, in fact, often they’re good things, I just sometimes get them out of proportion.
I love listening to audio books or podcasts while I do housework. And I’m so glad I have those things to help keep me motivated when I’m working. I lack the energy of my youth and it helps keep me going longer to have something to listen to.
When I was younger in my faith and would pull away from God it would look different. I’ve shared before that I had some serious doubts about God at one time.
I no longer ever doubt God’s real-ness. I don’t doubt his goodness. I don’t doubt his ability to do any and all things. I never doubt his love for me. I’m certain He is all-knowing, wise, and on my side. When I pull away, I never lose my admiration, my awe of Him, my love for Him. And yet, I find there are times that I pull back a bit from the intimacy I sometimes share with Him.
WHY, if He is all those good things (and He is!), would I pull away from Him even for a moment?
I’m human. And sometimes so weak. I know I need to lean on His strength, but sometimes even that seems hard. It feels good to give thinking and feeling a rest. But we can’t stay there.
I shared with one of my closest friends that I realized I had been running from God and subconsciously, but purposefully, not allowing myself any time to think painful (or even any heavy) thoughts. The next day when we had lunch, she gave me some index cards that she had written some scriptures on for me. She shared with me the things that God had impressed on her heart (for me) in a fresh way when she read these verses.
My eyes overflowed with thankfulness. Thankfulness for a friend who knows that what we always need is to be pointed back toward the savior and healer of our souls. And thankfulness to God who is faithful even when I’m faithless.
Although I was familiar with each of these verses, God gave me fresh emphasis and fresh hope from them this week.
My entire life I have CRAVED stability. Even though I know He is my sure foundation, reading this reminder was so sweet. HE will be the SURE FOUNDATION for YOUR TIMES. Yes! I needed to be reminded of this.
This is a story we all know. And sometimes when we’re so well acquainted with a passage we miss something good. And, sometimes it just stands out to us right when it’s meant to. He rebuked the wind and waves and there was a GREAT CALM. I’m praying now that He do that for me. Rebuke whatever is necessary and give me a great calmness in my soul.
I surely know these things. I’ve broken it down for the youth in church before. But it freshly calmed my soul to read these words. Yes, my soul, find rest in God. I’m praying that part of the verse. Because of all the things HE is, I will not be shaken.
For the next bit of time these verses are in a prominent place on my kitchen cabinet. The plates in the cabinet and the vitamins and medicine below mean I will see them many times a day. If I leave them too long, I will start to overlook them, but for at least a couple of weeks this will be helpful.
Y’all know how I love my audio-books. But, this week I didn’t allow myself to download a new book. I just need to hit the reset button. During this “reset” I will re-establish time for Bible and prayer. I will allow myself to think (some) and pray for God to give my soul the rest it really needs.
I’m also looking forward to starting a Bible study soon. I feel sure it came about at just the right time, that’s always how it seems to work. I was listening to a video by Edie Wadsworth, who blogs at Lifeingraceblog.com, and she mentioned an upcoming Bible study of Lent. I have never studied Lent, I barely know what it means. As she talked about her study of the Prodigal Son and how it had influenced the Bible study she wrote for Lent, I was eager to sign up for it. If you too would like to check out her study on Lent, you can go here.
Next week I promise a lighter topic 😊.