Have you ever ran away from God?
I have. For whatever reason, there are times in life that we feel like God is to blame and that the only way to make things right in our lives is to run from him. As if we could actually hide. We get mad, or upset, or frustrated or feel like we have hit rock bottom and can’t find our way back to the top again. We start to believe that God is the one who put us there. That he’s the one who is to blame for our petty misery. We don’t get all of the things that we want, and suddenly God is the bad guy.
We fight with our spouse, we lose our job, we don’t have all of the ‘things’ that we think we ‘need’, we get sick, we lose a friendship…and instead of looking at it from the perspective that maybe, just maybe God has a bigger and better plan for our life, we get mad. We run away from God. We ignore him. We stop praying. We stop reading our Bible’s. We act as if he simply doesn’t exist.
I’ve done it. On more than one occasion, if you want me to be honest. Not something I am proud of, but it happens. I did it during college. After my grades went south and I lost my scholarships [to read all about that, check out this post] and had to move home, I turned away from God. Yea. Because he was the one to blame for me staying out all night and not going to class the next day. I just completely ignored him. Gave him the cold shoulder. Like he just didn’t even exist. Despite the fact that he was there ALL the time. Keeping me safe when I did really stupid things [like…driving drunk? Jumping in the car with people who were drunk? Not my finest moments]
When I was pregnant with Noah and husband and I were in that awkward adjustment period, there was a dark cloud over our marriage. We weren’t getting along, we weren’t communicating, we were doing things intentionally [or maybe unintentionally…] that we knew caused the other pain. I prayed. And prayed. And prayed. I dug into Gods word for literally hours a day, begging God to fix my marriage. To fix whatever it was that was suddenly broken. When it didn’t happen right away, even though I thought it should, I turned my back on God again.
Neither time I did this brought me any joy. I didn’t feel better; truth be known, I felt worse. A lot worse. I was mad at the situation at hand and I was mad at myself for doing what I knew I shouldn’t-leaving God and blaming him.
See, we humans like to be in control of everything. We like to act like we have a grip on everything that goes on. We have the perfect marriage, the perfect kids, the perfect job, the perfect car, house…whatever. We like others to think that we have life down to an art. And when things suddenly go wrong, it ticks us off. We are knocked down a level and reminded that we don’t control anything. God does.
So where does that leave us?
As simple as it sounds, we must remind ourselves over and over again that WE aren’t the ones that control things. We take a look at the important things and thank God for what we do have. Whether we always believe it or not, we do have something to be thankful for. For instance…we aren’t filthy rich and able to simply spend money the way that we want. We have to budget. We have to plan for things. We have to carefully track where our funds go. Does that bother me? Sometimes. I am human. And the good Lord knows that there are days when I would love to be able to hit the mall for an hour or two and shop for some new clothes because I want to. Or go to the jewelry store and buy myself a new Bridal Set, or a purchase the new sofa and loveseat that I’ve been eyeing for a few months. But I can’t.
And instead of getting mad about that, getting frustrated with God because he didn’t see fit to give me money to just throw around, I take the time to thank him for what he HAS given me: