I pulled a Peter, y’all.
Somewhere in the last month I went from walking on water, completely focused on and trusting in God, to panicking and shouting out for Him to save me.
Somewhere along the lines I got so mesmerized with what was before/around me, that I took my eyes off of the one who was keeping me afloat, and now, I’m crying out for a dingy, a life preserver, something.
It’s like I woke up and what were the peaceful waters of my life were all of sudden lapping aggressively at my face and neck. I’m flailing y’all. And had God not shown me how close I was to going under…BUT GOD.
Are you overwhelmed? Did you wake up one morning and all of sudden the burden of debt, or responsibilities at home or work, or challenges in your relationship, or the struggle of bad habits were all heaped on your head?
That’s where I am.
But this morning, the Lord showed me Psalm 119:147. It goes like this in The Message version:
145-152 I call out at the top of my lungs,
“God! Answer! I’ll do whatever you say.”
I called to you, “Save me
so I can carry out all your instructions.”
I was up before sunrise,
crying for help, hoping for a word from you.
I stayed awake all night,
prayerfully pondering your promise.
In your love, listen to me;
in your justice, God, keep me alive.
As those out to get me come closer and closer,
they go farther and farther from the truth you reveal;
But you’re the closest of all to me, God,
and all your judgments true.
I’ve known all along from the evidence of your words
that you meant them to last forever.
I read that, and here are a few things the Holy Spirit told me that may be an encouragement to you:
1. You’ve gotta rise early to find direction. You cannot expect to hear the small, still quiet of the Lord once the cacophony of your life has begun. Set aside some quiet time – for me it must be early, but for you it could be over lunch, or doing your commute, or whenever – and dedicate it to seeking God, praying to Him, and (most importantly) listening for instruction for the day. And it will be JUST FOR TODAY, because remember, tomorrow will have troubles of its own.
2. God isn’t going to waive a magic wand to make it all disappear. Nope, if you read this scripture, what you’ll come away with is peace to sustain and endure and to accomplish whatever is before you. Nowhere does it say He’ll take the burden away. Rather, what it says is, if you seek Him, He’ll tell you how (not if, but how) you’ll win this battle.
3. God hasn’t changed. He is the same God of our quiet and peaceful and faith-filled season as He is when we feel like we’re drowning, in over our heads, or too far gone for saving. His promises are still true. His word is still true. If something’s different, the only thing that’s changed is you/me.
4. Once we put our eyes back on him, it’s not that our enemies/challenges disappeared (sometimes they will, but…), no it’s just that the change in focus makes them seem less imminent, less menacing, farther away. The moral? The closer we draw to Him, the more insignificant all the other drama becomes.
5. Even though you’re going through, being pursued by challenges on every side, God is still there. In fact, He’s closest during your times of peril. I remember being told that the teacher is always silent during the test. That seems an appropriate reminder right here.
I’ll be honest with you. Even after this revelation from the Holy Spirit, there’s still a small, infinitesimal part of me that still feels overwhelmed, but God told me very clearly: write down all you have to do (make a to-do list) and together, you and I will, work through it.
Bottom line? Life won’t get easier when it’s hard. LOL. I know that seems like common sense, but it’s often what we’re looking for: a secret escape from the hard times so we can mystically teleport ourselves back to peace and reassurance. It doesn’t exit Family. How else can God grow us and stretch us and deepen our dependance on Him if not by going through things from time to time?
But even though you can’t escape the tough times, he will give us the strength to endure if we seek Him, listen to/out for Him, and remind ourselves through the Word and our memories (because as Tye Tribbett said, “If He did it before/He’ll do it again/Same God right now/Same God back then) we’ll live to have HIm fight for us another day.
New International Version (NIV)
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.