There is no saint or sinner alive that can say they have never encountered trials and tribulations of some sort in this thing called life. In fact, often it’s those very difficulties in life that encourages most to seek a higher being. What the devil meant for evil against me, God meant it for good. (Gen 50:20) While scripture is truth, and God can never lie, when we are in the thick of a storm it is easy to doubt that situation will lead to any good on our behalf when it looks and feels like it is leading directly to our demise. Unfortunately, often when we as Christians find ourselves in a hopeless situation we make a mistake that only leads to more uncertainty and doubt in our lives: we let go of God’s unchanging hand.
Recently, I found myself in this very circumstance. Feeling drained, and spiritually beaten up from a failing marriage, and an unfulfilling professional life, I took a break from the Lord. That sounds ridiculous as I write it. In my mind and heart I knew I still loved the Lord whole heartedly, but I just wanted to try to figure my life out on my own. At least that’s what I told myself. In actuality, I got impatient with the Lord. Things did not work out the way I thought they should have and I became fustrated and faithless. Even though I felt I was doing my due diligence as a Christian, I still got screwed! The nerve of me huh! Like God owed me something, other than the breath of life He exalted to me daily. Perhaps this is the very reason why the Lord warns us against feeling sorry for ourselves for too long: (A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov. 17:22). That sorrow I felt for myself lead to bad decision making. The trick of the devil is that once we let go of our King’s hand, the guilt we feel becomes the reason why we continue to shun away from Him.
While facing this period, I found it impossible to pray for myself. I felt my line of communication with my maker was disconnected and out of service indefinitely. I knew I was living for the world and therefore left myself open to the harms of this world. I knew any minute tragedy could occur. Yet, there would be no one there to console me or encourage me. This too lead me to feel even more overwhelmed. However, the few times I did find the strength to muster up a prayer (mainly for my children), I found they would be answered immediately. Huh?! If I knew better then, I would know that those answered prayers were Gods way of telling me, “I’m still right here”.
One night that my spirit became extremely weary, and tears poured, I picked up the phone and called a friend. Someone that was more than just a friend actually, he was my spiritual partner for over a decade, my husband. Although we faced and continue to face divorce, he was the only person I knew I could call, and would somehow understand what I was facing. I cried to him and confessed my sins, and my inability to seek God in this time. He spoke to me in a honest, and truthful way that only he could. No sugar coating what I had been doing. And he told me something that I will never forget: “God is speaking to you through your conscience.” I guess those words stuck to me because I had felt that God had stopped communicating with me all together. Yet, that did make perfect sense since it was my heavy conscience that kept me up at night and made me feel bouts of guilt to remind me I was not living right! My husband promised to pray for me. Something I needed, since I was unable to pray for myself. While our conversation calmed my spirit enough that I could get some rest that night, the next day I awoke and not much had changed internally. I had went about my life, the same as I had been for the last few months, living for the world.
One morning after getting off work from an overnight shift, I put an almost empty bottle of water I had been sipping on through the night in my work bag to take it home. While doing it, I questioned why I had not just thrown it out since it was almost empty afterall! Despite my questioning it, I put it in the bag anyway. Fast forward to later that night. It was my day off, and I was in my room. I ate a small snack, and really wanted just a small drink of water. However, I was lazy and definitely didn’t feel like going back down stairs. I reached in my work bag for my computer to do some work, and felt the water bottle. And I began to cry! At the same time, I heard/felt Gods voice/energy saying ‘I will save you because of the little you have already stored away in Me!!’ I cried and was bought to my knees in prayer, and prayed the most heartfelt prayer I had prayed in months.
As saved Christians we are not unlikely to have problems. We are not unlikely to stray. We are not unlikely to seek the world again. However, what God reminded me that night when I reached for that water bottle and got exactly what I needed without even asking for it, was that when we are on the right path, praying and fasting, and in perfect union with Him, we are not just doing those things for the time, but also for the time to come when maybe we won’t have the heart or faith to do it. When your spirit runs low, know that the little you have already stored into the Lord is sufficient enough for Him to never let go of you!
What an awesome God we serve. 🙂