Where Do You Run in Your Distress?
“O my God, I call out by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I find no rest nor quiet. But You are holy, O You who are enthroned in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]. In You our fathers trusted [leaned on, relied on, and were confident]; They trusted you and You rescued them. They cried out to You and were delivered; They trusted in You and were not disappointed or ashamed.” (Psalms 22:2-5, AMP)
Truth time: Recently, I realized how numb I can become to the goodness of God. It was the week of Good Friday. My family and I watched “The Passion of the Christ.” Funny, how a confrontation with the cross can realign us and set us straight. As much as I hate to say this, as I became a teenager, I forgot the importance of that sacrifice. I felt as if it was just another story in a book. I never really thought about the whole meaning behind it or realized that if it weren’t for God’s sacrifice, I wouldn't have eternal life. I wouldn't be able to say that I don't have to punish myself because I’ve sinned over
and over again.
The crucifixion is a representation of God’s love. It shouldn't be taken for granted, especially since we don’t deserve it. After watching that movie, I felt spiritually uneasy and I didn’t know why. I felt as if my body went numb and I couldn't feel my legs or concentrate. I kept zoning out and I felt like I was going to collapse if I didn't lean on something. I immediately went to Google– the place where you can get all your answers from, or at least where I thought I could get my answers from.
Frantically, I kept doing “researching” why I felt this way and got more and more frightened. Thinking about it now, I’m confused as to why I thought Google would have the answer to me being spiritually off. As I tried to go to bed that night, I was just really confused and scared. I remember my Pastor saying how he wakes up early in the morning to spend alone time with God. I figured since I couldn't sleep, I’d just stay up and pray to see if I felt any better.
Around 2 a.m., I felt this heaviness and waves of panic overcame me. The enemy started putting thoughts in my mind like, “You’re going to be numb and scared all night because you have nothing or no one to help.” I paused for a minute and after about an hour of being scared out of my mind, I finally called out to God. I asked, “God what is going on with me right now? Why do I feel numb and scared for no reason at all? Where is this coming from and why all of a sudden? Give me peace.”
I just waited in silence, I couldn't remember the last time I spent alone with God and I wondered if there was going to be a reply. After about five minutes, a scripture popped into my head: Psalms 22:2-5. I got off my bed, still shaking, and opened my Bible. The scripture the Lord gave me is the key verse I used today.
When I thought about it, I interpreted it like this: Despite being in distress, God can deliver you out of anything. He did it in the past, He’s doing it currently, and He will do it in the future. Be patient and sensitive to His voice. Praise Him, even when you haven’t received your answer. He is our deliverer and he WILL bring you out of whatever you’re in.
After reading that scripture, He told me, “You haven't been reading My Word. You are unaware of the ways in which you should fight your battles.” After receiving that message, I felt at peace. The numbness left my body and I didn’t feel scared anymore. I felt his presence and I sat on the floor, asking for forgiveness. I had ignored my relationship with God, I barely opened the Bible or sat in silence with Him. I needed to make Him my first priority, because at the end of the day He created me and gave me everything I needed or wanted, as long as it was His will.
Staying in the Word gives you comfort, peace, knowledge, strength, and much more. For me, it’s so easy to run to a million different things like social media, friends, or the internet when I have questions or problems. I ask myself sometimes, “Why can I scroll on Instagram for hours but not dedicate at least 10 minutes towards prayer?”
The truth is, we all tend to prioritize everything over the one thing that truly matters: our relationship with Christ. Being in high school, you’re given many options: you have a guidance counselor. You have teachers. You have your friends, but nothing ever seems to help. For those in a different season, you have your family, your coworkers, or the spiritual leaders in your church. You continue to wrap yourself in the world and slowly, you start thinking like it because you forget that God is more powerful than anxiety, pridefulness, depression, sickness, addiction and confusion, as well as our past.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” (1 Peter 5: 6-7, AMP)
Why should you run to anyone other than the one who created you? Don’t start using the world's remedies because you think it’s the most effective or because it will “solve your situation the quickest.” Run to God’s Word. It’s the source of our strength and wisdom. It’s our safe place, which reminds us that our Father is beside us at all times. He knows your questions before you ask and in His timing He will reveal the answers in His own way.
Friends, family, guidance counselors, church buddies, teachers, and mentors won't always be there when you need them, but you can always rely on God. Let Him be the One you run to in times of distress. “Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart. And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].” (Proverbs 3:5-6, AMP)