“I will go before you and level the uneven places; I will shatter the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two.” (Isaiah 45:2).
In the last 2 years, I’ve done a lot of searching. Soul-searching, searching for Jesus, for peace, purpose, identity, and my place.
I searched to be anywhere that wouldn’t rob my peace and joy. I moved, and then I moved, and then I moved. I’d aim to have nothing deter my “ability to feel the Lord’s presence”.
I even changed jobs and changed jobs and changed jobs. Until I found this one that seems to be a perfect fit for my interests.
Clearly, I do a lot of running and searching.
The more I tirelessly run and search, the more I find that there’s no place on this Earth you can run to satisfy your soul. No amount of your efforts or seeking within the realms of earthly things, can fill you up.
Sure, there’s degrees of better or worse. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be where the Lord is. But I’ve found that just like anything, you can become irrationally obsessed with holding onto your peace. In my tireless efforts to be at peace, I was losing my peace. Being uncomfortable and without peace is inevitable. After all, in this world we will have trouble, but Christ has overcome the world! (John 16:33).
So why keep trying to “have better”, when you already have the best thing ever, available to you 24/7? The presence of our Lord and Savior. The Prince of Peace, the only true satisfaction.
There’s no way to child-proof ourselves or the world around us to keep us from the pains of life. To think we can is insanity, usually in the form of anxiety in my case. God’s revisiting the importance of casting my cares on Him. The only solution for the anxious human race.
When my stress becomes unbearable, He tells me, “You weren’t made to carry such a load1. Let me carry it.”
When I’m facing feelings of inadequacy and fear, He says, “My limitless power rests within you. I’ve gone before you and done the work already. Behold my pierced hands to prove it. The grave (every negative feeling and emotion) is empty, no more.”
On my drive to work yesterday, a pick-up truck equipped with construction utilities caught my attention. I caught a glimpse of a man driving with a little girl in the passenger seat. Father and daughter, I warmly thought.
I was immediately taken back to elementary days when my dad let me go along with him to work. A proud little “daddy’s-girl”, I got to see my dad at work and the creations he’s accomplished.
In groundwork construction development, we’d roam across large open pieces of land. A lot of particular planning goes into it, but from an outsider, it only looks like a lot of dirt with some markers in it during the beginning stages.
It was such a thrill being in dad’s big work truck, able to heave over all that rocky, uneven terrain.
Do you see the beautiful parallel? When my earthly father took me to see his work back then, my Abba Father (God the Father) is taking me to His work as His little girl every day. Seeing that pick-up truck yesterday was no mistake.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Psalms 46:1-3)
God was answering my prayers of distress to remind me I wasn’t taking myself to work every day. In fact, the Lord Himself, was taking me to show me all that He’s done, all that He’s working on, and the absolute beauty of it. The beauty of His plan, His strength, protection, and creations. The joys that can be found in uncertain situations. [Like a 23-year-old finding pure joy when providing therapy to an unwilling-at-times Autistic 3-year-old, for one example.]
When I feel like the Lord’s surely testing me: maybe it’s not a test He’s putting in front of me, but a display of His wonder. A never-ending learning experience, full of treasures. If only I humbly rest into Him enough to recognize them.
David learned this trust early on, when facing the giant Goliath. “all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand. When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:47-48)
When David thought he had to have all this training, all he had to do was have faith. When he thought he had to get fierce and fight with swords and armor, God reminded him to let God do the work.
David thought he had to run, and it brought him anxiety. When he realized God’s strength is where He fights His battles, he could relax and gain confidence to run right up to that monster. He could work with what he had. Not only could he fight his enemy, he wins, using a seemingly unskilled set: his own small body, his faith, a sling-shot and a stone.
“For you will not leave in a hurry, and you will not have to take flight; because the Lord is going before you, and the God of Israel is your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12).
Now, when I’m tempted to run, I know my Heavenly Father has outstretched arms and merciful pierced hands for me to rest in.
- River of Grace – Christy Nockels
- Credit to Papa B for the work photos!