When You Want To Run Screaming…

Today is one of those days…you know the ones, where you can’t get comfortable in your own skin and you feel as if you are standing on the road a long way from where you need to be without the desire to take even one more step.  Second Corinthians 4 talks about this kind of day.  But Paul, in his infinite positive outlook on life, turned it around.  In verse 8 he says “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.  We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.”  In verse 9 he talks about being hunted down but not abandoned by God and then being knocked down but not destroyed.

Let’s examine this for a minute.  When Paul wrote this chapter, Christians were dying for their faith.  Just BEING a Christian could get you killed.  That is still true in some parts of the world.  Just recently, a group of Christians were beheaded.  They died for their faith, pure and simple.

I attend a church where salvations are a weekly occurrence at multiple services.  The tears flow as another soul is welcomed into the kingdom.  I am blessed to live in a country where this is possible.  Where the freedom to worship God is a protected right.  Would I, like Paul, be willing to die for my faith?  I used to think so but today not so much.  When I can allow stupid little stuff to press me down and steal my joy, I am not being God’s child, I am being a spoiled brat.  It is not a picture of myself I like to paint but it is one I must, if I am to be completely honest.

In the quiet moments of the day, after my husband as left for work and I am alone in the house, I hear God whispering my name.  He calls me his beloved and holds my heart close to his so I can hear the very beating of it.  This reminds me that I am alive, that He is in control and that I should just let go. In those moments, I cling to God and revel in His presence.  I am glad, that in the grand scheme of things, there are more of those days than there are days like today.  I don’t like feeling like a spoiled brat but seriously I am.  Living a life where most of the time all of my needs and a few of my wants are met, I expect more than I should.  Rich and I have spent a lot of time in the desert but what we discovered is that those are the times we are nearest to God.  When we rely on the providence of our heavenly father, we demonstrate faith that others can see.  When we act like a spoiled child who defiantly stamps their foot and declares, “I can do it myself”, we rob ourselves and others of blessings and we demonstrate a lack of obedience to God that others see.  And those people are taking notes…

We need them to want what we have.  God needs those around us in the world to see our faith and trust.  We may be the only vision of Christ others will see.  Are we living a life worthy of the gospel?

Paul sums this up quite perfectly in verses 17 and 18:  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  SO we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 

In the grand scheme of things I have to trust that God is in control and that he truly doesn’t need my help.  That feeling that I can’t get comfortable in my own skin, is simply God keeping me out of my comfort zone.  And that stagnant place on the road?  It is simply an oasis where I am resting for the rest of the journey.   I can be okay with that.

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