Have you ever wanted to run away? Yeah, me, too. There can be days and times when running seems the only viable solution. But, I have found that when I most feel like running is when I most need to stand.
The kids are crazy. The house is a disaster. The marriage is broken. The job is too hard. I just gotta quit. The list goes on and on. We have worked ourselves into an emotional frenzy and are no longer thinking clearly.
Will you allow me to wax poetic for a sec? Following is something I wrote awhile back and it’s a picture of numerous conversations I’ve had with my Maker spanning my decades. (Yikes.) Maybe it’ll encourage you to see how gentle our Savior is, how kind. How wise. Please, read on…
I know You never promised me it would be easy.
Nor did You ever tell me it would always be happy.
I guess I just never realized that sometimes it would be
unbearable – beyond hard.
I’ve been a wild horse lunging against bit and bridle,
looking to the horizon, longing to jump that fence,
I’ve wanted to run and run and run
and never stop
and never look back.
But, You – You whispered to my soul.
Gently holding the reins.
With nostrils flared, head tossed, and eyes wild
I stamped my foot and snorted, “Why should I?
What possible reason in the world do I have to stay?”
One hand still holding the reins, the other stroking my forehead,
the Soul Whisperer leaned in.
“Let My grace and mercy do its work.”
“My grace and mercy are unfailing.”
“But, my grace and mercy are not unfailing. I’m. Not. You.”
“You enjoy My grace and mercy, too.”
Dropping my head, I willed my breathing to slow.
In through the nose, out through the lips.
Fill the diaphragm. Push it all back out again.
Settle … settle.
There comes a point when arguing with God,
the One Who whispers to my soul, is futile.
“How long is it going to take?”
“As long as it takes.”
“Your grace and mercy are unfailing. Everlasting.”
“I can only do this if You are with me.”
“I will never leave you.
I see you. I hear you. I AM and I know.
I have not forgotten you.”
the Soul Whisperer removed the bit and bridle
from this wild horse of a woman and declared,
“You are free.”
I look from the face of God to the fence,
to the horizon beyond, and
back to the Soul Whisperer.
The key to standing is all in our footing. Where are we standing? Is the ground shaky or solid? False or truth? The ability to stand when we feel like running comes from purposefully resetting our thoughts. Taking a moment to let the feelings of flight subside just long enough to assess if it’s a need or simply frustration.
After taking that moment, I have found a variety of solutions. Sometimes I did need to “run away.” A bubble bath, candles, and quiet music for meditation might fill the need. Maybe a trip to the mall, a walk in the park, or a talk with a trusted friend over a cup of coffee. You know what calms your soul. Be good to yourself.
At other times, I found the answer was to get-a-grip, take a deep breath, and go at it again. However, I never did that without first spending time in prayer and in God’s Word – even if all I could grab was a quickie. Those truths you have tucked away in your memory are your weapons. Wield them with confidence.
I’d like to share with you some of my favorites from the One Who whispers to my soul.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! Isaiah 26:3 NLT
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 NLT
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:20-23 NLT
Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26 NLT
Grace and peace,