Let The Pressure Press You Nearer His Heart by Susie @ Recovering Church Lady
My family is in the middle of a major move out of state in a few weeks, but I could not turn down an opportunity to Guest Post on this wonderful blog by our friend and inspiration, Barbie! I am thrilled to be included here!
I finally threw away the yellowed, food-spattered quote that used to live on our refrigerator. But the words will stay with me forever.
If you have been a believer for longer than a day, you know that life is still going to have its challenges, large and small. Family struggles, financial worries, illness and death can chip away at our peace and ability to trust God. When disaster strikes, we find ourselves questioning His love for us. Personal crisis can also cause us to wonder if God really is who he says he is.
I am sitting here with tears welling as I glimpse the light at the end of my own dark tunnel. Unexpected job losses, family deaths, a serious motorcycle accident and major financial struggles have marked the last three years. Others are suffering much deeper places than I have, and for longer, but the doubts and questions arrived anyway, because this has been new territory for me.
This writer is no expert on how to handle adversity. I am not proud of the way I responded to the majority of our tough and painful circumstances. But I am thankful that I did remember to turn toward God rather than away from Him. Admittedly, turning toward Him did include some brutally honest discussions, with long silences in between.
When faced with negative circumstances we all have some choices to make.
Do I get mad at God?
Or be angry at the situation along with Him?
Do I shut down my emotions?
Or allow my tears to soak His shoulder?
Do I close my eyes and ears and feel that I am alone in my sorrow?
Or do I lament to The One who is always listening?
Can you see the picture that is portrayed in the Hudson Taylor quote?
The harder the pressure, the tighter our embrace.
I have two very close blog friends who are each facing devastating family situations. They are shining examples of allowing the pressure to press them closer to God rather than letting it come between them and God. My friends inspire me with their tenacity to find God in the middle of the mess. He is comforting them and making them strong when everything around them feels like chaos. Both of my friends are saying, “God I hate this situation and I do not understand it at all, but I am leaning on You right now. Show me where You are in this.”
What does turning toward God in rough times look like?
It can look different for everyone, so we need to be careful not to set up a formula. One person may decide to get up earlier to have quiet time with God. Others may want to begin writing in a journal to ease the questions of the heart. For me, it was learning how to turn my thought life back to Him when the negative circumstances seemed to be pulling me down into a depression spiral.
I know that God is good and that He loves me. So even when every other part of my identity was gone, I clung to that truth. I had big questions about our confusing circumstances, but I still knew this to be true. I find that keeping those two facts front and center keep me from blaming God, which would allow the pressure to come between us.
God is good and He loves me.
God is good and He loves you.
You may be slogging your way through a difficult time. The pressure is heavy and it feels like you can barely lift your head under the weight, let alone be cheerful and thankful. Dear friend, let the pressure press you nearer the heart of God. If the pressure has already succeeded in coming between you and God, it takes very little movement to shift your position. Move yourself closer to Him with a simple, “Help me.”
He is already in position to embrace you.