We hear bad news more today than ever. The media is good about bringing negativity into our world. We invite it into our own lives when we watch the news, talk about it at work and then repeat it when we get home. That’s a negative times three. Draining our minds and depleting our emotions is exhausting. I, for one, have grown tired of the cycle. It can be hard to find a person who is willing to give us a kind word, encourage us, lift us up, be patient with us, respect us…. and the list could go on.
Turbulent times send some people into the unfamiliar territory of panic. Panic takes away ones ability to think and process the issues staring him/her in the face. It’s the flight or fight response he or she thinks about in the heat of the moment, and if they aren’t careful, they take the flight path. One may think they have escaped the turmoil, and they most likely have for the moment, but make no mistake about it, it will return at some point and next time he or she may not be able to take the flight. They stand, they fight, but how do they progress? For me, I run, not to take the flight, but to take refuge until I can take action. Where do I go? Into the Father’s presence. There, I find grace, peace, comfort, and even protection when I need it. Do I escape the turmoil there? God doesn’t promise we will be without trouble and disasters won’t reach us. So escape in the sense of fleeing, or breaking loose from confinement, may not be God’s will. However, escape in the sense of failing to remember things as we see them through the world’s eyes, yes.
It is a place for a valuable lesson. We may not always like the lesson, but God’s ways are not our ways and He sees eternity. We see the here and now. He knows where He wants to grow us and take us and He knows what it takes to get us there. He is concerned with our hearts and our spiritual growth; we are concerned with our comfort. He is concerned with setting us free, so our spirit and our attitudes soar above our problems; we want free so we don’t have to deal with our problems.
If we are to grow spiritually, we must understand, life is not about us and it’s not going to always be comfortable. Think about children and how they progress physically, socially, and mentally. We want our children to learn how to walk because it is a normal part of life. We stand them against the wall, move back and ask them to come to us. They take a step or two and then fall. They think the world ended, we know it didn’t, but they feel the pain. We tell them to deal with it, they aren’t really hurt and we try again. We don’t let them get by with crying, or giving up. If we did, we would need to carry them for the rest of their lives.
We want our children to get along with others, so we put them in school, sometimes even daycare so they can be around children their age and learn to work on social skills together. Sometimes they click with one person and are friends for several years, and then that friend’s family moves away. Ouch. Our child is now suffering some emotional turmoil. They don’t understand. Neither do we, but we don’t tell them to never make friends again because we are afraid the same thing will happen. We help them make new friends because we know it is important for them socially.
Our children attend school. We send them so they can grow mentally. We want them to learn their alphabet, math skills, english skills, about history, music and so much more. I remember when my oldest daughter was learning to read. She would bring home a book with one or maybe two sentences per page. She would count the pages she had to read and then she would have a melt down. She cried and said she would never get finished. It took lots of patience, but she learned to read and she entered the third grade with a high school reading level. She still loves to read today. Suppose I had given up and let her do whatever she wanted. Where would her reading skills be today? She paid a minor discomfort to earn a reward with dividends.
I remember being around three or four years old watching my mother iron clothes. She told me several times, the iron was hot and not to touch it. I shook my head with understanding. She stood the iron on the board and turned around and my fingers went right to it. She didn’t lie. It was hot! My three little fingers burned red and the pain was intense. She ran cold water over them and then applied mustard, because someone told her the mustard would help to draw the heat out. Did she put the iron away and never teach me to iron clothes? No. She did wait until I was older so I could properly hold the iron, but she didn’t let me off the hook. She taught me how to properly use the iron without getting burned.
I run into His presence so I might learn to stand. He takes my weakness and gives me His strength. He takes my worries and turns them to passion. He takes my concerns and teaches me His ways. He fights my battles, once I learn to be still. He takes my knowledge and gives me understanding. I give Him my fears, He gives me His peace. I confess my sins, He gives me His grace. I give Him my insecurities, He gives me hope. I give him my lack of trust, He gives me faith. I give Him my hates, He gives me His love. I long to stay and bask in His glory. He says go and tell others about me.