No matter where you go, you are still with yourself. There was a time in my life where I thought I had to move locations constantly, because of my circumstances.
If I was having a hard time, I felt the need to move in order to escape the difficulties. I quickly learned wherever I went, there I was also!
Have you ever had that time where you were just struggling and felt like you needed to escape? It felt like the answer to everything was to move away from the problem- to isolate yourself.
Everybody else was driving you crazy, and you just needed other people to shut up. You needed them to leave you alone, and the only way for that to happen was to leave. However, you felt stuck. You couldn’t leave. You couldn’t escape the responsibility you had.
RUNNING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
Well, sister, the reason running away is so difficult is because it is impossible! For one, our God is in control of all things. If He wishes to teach us a lesson, we can’t outrun the tools He has planned to use. Think about Jonah in the Bible (Jonah ch.1).
We can’t outrun God. We can’t escape the lessons and the blessings that will come afterward. David said, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" (Psalm 139:7)
IT IS FOR OUR GOOD!
I once heard a quote that said, “Wherever He places me, He does so to strengthen my faith and power and to draw me closer into communion with Him." Our trials are ‘test of our trusts’ for God. They are the vehicle for knowing more about Him.
It no longer becomes head knowledge, but life experiences. We often ask to trust God more. We want to know how to be more like Christ. However, when we pray those prayers, He doesn’t sprinkle it down from heaven. Your trials may actually be answered prayers!
We have to continually remind ourselves of that well-seasoned truth, “God is good and He is for us.” Anything that you are going through at this present moment has passed through the hands of your loving, merciful, and kind Father.
We CAN RUN, BUT NOT HIDE!
Though we may want to run, there are no hiding places for the all-present God. There is no hide and go seek with Him! He will pursue and He will win. However, He draws us and pursues us in love.
Most of the trouble we face is not outward, but inward. They’re past hurts, past abuses, anxiety, depression, and wrong thinking. They’re of pity, shame, and guilt. They’re of the enemy’s condemnation.
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THE COMMON DENOMINATOR!
Though we may not realize it at the moment, many times we are projecting those thoughts and feelings onto other people. We feel they are the ones that are the issue, and many times they very well may be.
However, if we are becoming friends with the same type of people, dating the same types, and attracting the same types… We have to look at the common denominator. If we leave and go to different places and we still find ourselves in similar circumstances, then WE are the common denominator.
As hard and humbling as it is to admit, we have to examine the common denominator. What a gracious thing it is to have God who helps us by His Holy Spirit and strength.
FACING OUR BROKENNESS!
When we think about facing ourselves and looking in the mirror, it may seem literally impossible. We would rather just ignore it and keep going. Looking at ourselves is just too painful.
Bringing all of our brokenness to God, asking Him to show us all of those secrets that we have pushed aside, those hurts that we’ve thrown in the back of our minds, even the stuff that has become subconscious is... whew!
Girl, we’d rather keep the present pain! UH UH...not today.
But, after going through the messiness, we will come on the other side, thankfully rejoicing that we finally opened ourselves up to the Perfect Surgeon. When we ask God to open that can of worms, we are also asking God to make us new.
IT AIN'T EASY...BUT GOD!
Yes, we are inviting God to bring up all those impurities in the fire. Let's be real, fire hurts my friend. It ain’t fun! We must remember the purpose and the One who is helping us look at ourselves.
It is the One who created us. He loves us more than anyone, and will not hurt us for the sake of hurting us. He may allow pain, but the pain is never the end. It is only a means to a greater purpose.
Sister, I can’t imagine what you may be thinking, but I have thought and sometimes still think that it’s too hard. I should just forget it, you know? Just forget it! “Who cares anyway? It’s not bothering anyone else.”
But, look at your circumstances. Look at your heart. Look how miserable it can be to keep trying to ignore yourself. It is hard to keep trying to push yourself away. Distracting yourself, by doing works, being the better person, and being a better friend, and being a better ‘something’ only goes so far.
You can’t outwork yourself to leave yourself, and you know this very well. When you lay down with yourself at night, in the dark, you have that pain. This may not be for everyone, but if you’re reading this, I hope the Lord is ministering to you.
Ask God to examine your heart. He will. It might seem like the knife is cutting too deep, like the fire is getting too hot, but keep your eyes on Christ... who is the End. Stop running, it doesn’t work. Stop trying to escape, it ain’t gonna happen.
Instead, sit at the feet of Jesus, and let Him wash you. Let Him cleanse you. Let Him bring up all those things that you hate. Let Him bring you the freedom of victory over them.
Surrender to Christ, your Helper, and cling tightly to Him and His Love.
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Praise God from whom all blessings flow!