I’ve laughed at/cried over myself a lot this week.
I get up in the mornings to spend time with the Lord and do my best to “steer the ship.” I tend think that I have a pretty good idea of what God wants to talk to me about each morning.
I recently realized that what I’ve considered “mental distractions” during my time with the Lord — was actually the Spirit of God lovingly redirecting me to places I would rather not go in my times with Him.
You see, I want to feel “peaceful” when I get up in the morning as sit in a comfy corner, sip my coffee and open my Bible. And many times, it is peaceful. But some mornings are anything but peaceful. Some mornings are war as I battle with fears, frustrations, disappointments, and worst of all, my own rotten sin.
I never thought that I was one to compartmentalize my life — only letting God into certain parts of my life. But the truth is, I’ve been noticing how often I strive to push away the real things that I need to bring before the Lord in my time with Him. I just want to learn something new. I want to be comforted by God’s love for me. I want to bask in the glory and freedom of the Gospel. And none of these are bad things — but as soon as real life concerns start to creep into the corners of my mind, I tend to push them away and think, “not right now! Right now I’m spending time with the Lord.”
But a verse that has been sticking with me for the last several months is 1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
I’m whiteboard nerd. Just ask my team. I literally have about 15 dry erase markers in different colors. No lie. If I were sitting with you right now, I would probably whip out the dry erase board and draw you a picture. Alas! I can’t do that so I must trust that you will take a moment to form a mental picture.
Imagine coming underneath a massive hand. You come underneath that hand for protection and safety from the dangers outside. It takes a sense of humility to hide from dangers — to run underneath a refuge. But imagine that you have massive heavy weights tied to your back.
God is calling us to not only come underneath His hand for the sake of refuge — He is also calling us to cast those weights on our back on top of is hand. We wants to bear for us the weight of our concerns, fears, disappointments and frustrations. When we humble ourselves and come underneath His mighty hand, not only are we protected, but we can also live lighter. We can enjoy a lighter yoke. We can live with more freedom. We are protected from not only the outside elements — but we’re also protected from the things/dangers that cling to us and get into our very being.
So, when those troubling distractions begin to rise up — I’m trying to practice casting those cares on the Lord right then and there. As I come underneath His hand in the mornings — I’m getting used to throwing those weights on Him so that I don’t have to bear them alone the rest of the day.
So what does that look like? — I vent. I vent to God. And let me tell you, it feels good. I’ve noticed that I tend to want to vent to Emily or other people in my life. Why do we do that? Aren’t we trying to cast our cares on those around us? Aren’t we hoping that they will bear the weight with us? To feel what we are feeling? To help us sort through what’s troubling us? So, why wouldn’t we throw those cares on the One who can bear the weight? The One who sees the full truth? The One who can truly sympathize with us? The One who can lovingly correct and discipline us?
In short, God can handle us. He can handle our cares, our emotions, our heaviness — and He wants to help us bear the weight.
These quotes by Spurgeon helped bolster the work God has already been doing in me through 1 Peter.
“O poor friend, try your rich God. O helpless one, lean on His help.”
“Do not cry in the ears of friends; for even if they can help you, it is only because the Lord enables them. The nearest way is to go straight to God, and let your cry come before Him. Straight forward makes the best runner: run to the Lord, and not secondary causes.”
I don’t think this means that you can’t go to a friend or mentor for help. I think God gives us people for a reason. I think He helps us through others. The point of this blog is to say that I’m learning that I need to make sure I’m also (and mainly) going to the source of my Help — and I want to encourage you to do the same.
Have you ever vented to God?