I can be honest and say that giving my life to Christ has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. It's a peace that can't be explained. It's knowing where my help comes from. It's knowing all my needs will be met. There's literally no greater joy. The problem is that I thought I would feel like this all days. I didn't realize that my Christian walk would come with some inconsistency. Some days I want to snuggle in His arms and laugh, smile, cry, pray, etc. Then there are some days where I literally want to walk away from God. There are times when the burden is heavy and the task of pleasing Him seems daunting. Some days I have great faith, speaking life over my circumstances. Other times, I have little to none. In those moments, I want to run. It just seems so much easier. Easier to run.
When you get saved and dedicate your life to God, there's an army of people rooting for you, cheering you on telling you it'll be the best thing ever. They remind you that heaven is singing and Christ is rejoicing over the one. But when the dust settles and excitement wears off, no one tells you the truth: that being a Christian comes with bad days. *gasp* "What? You mean it's not all rainbows and butterflies? It's not a celebration every day? Trials will still come??" Yes, absolutely. See, the word says in John 16:33 that in this life we will have hard times. We will have trials. Tribulations will arise. This is a promise, not a possibility. But we're often not told how to handle them when they arise. Sure we can read the Bible, find a prayer partner, talk to God, listen to a sermon, and even play worship music. But what about when you just don't feel like it?
It's a sad day when suicide among Christians and even pastors are increasing. 23% of pastors say they have struggled (or are struggling) with mental illness. More than half of Christians are dealing with depression. Sinners and saints are judging each other for sinning differently. Churches are in turmoil and Christians are being mocked. It's sad. But what about when prophesies are spoken and rhema words are given? Messages come at the right time and you have hope that things will get better. Once a year, or 3, have gone by and nothing has come to pass, you start questioning God all over again. Satan comes with his lies telling you that things won't happen because of your past and your mistakes. Lies hold us back, and weariness kicks in. Attacks increase and our will to fight decrease. Often, we want to walk away from God.
The thing is that many of us have access to so many weapons and we often don't know which one to utilize. Do we pray, or be silent? Should we make a move or sit still? Is it time to fast or praise Him in advance? Do we worship or praise? If I open up the Bible will He give a word or should I meditate on a current one? We get tired from simply trying to choose the right weapon, leading us further in a depressive mind state. And Lord help you if you're a teacher or leader in the church. James 3 speaks of teachers being held in a higher standard and being judged on a stricter level. I know of many teachers that want to run from God at times as well. I've been there before (a few times) if I can be honest.
When God ruins your plans
Ever had your life all planned out and then God comes in with a directive that changes the narrative of where you were going? I knew that I would be a baker and bookkeeper (self-employed at home) with 4 kids and a working husband by the time I turned 30. Once I turned 30, I told everyone I was 29 pt2. When I turned 31, I said I was 29 pt 3. It was hard to accept that, not only were my plans not springing forth, but God had something completely different in mind. Ministry. "Ministry? Me? No, God. You've got it twisted. I'm Victoria. You're thinking about Veronica, across the street. Wrong house. Return to sender." That was a calling I didn't want. I didn't pray for it. I didn't ask for it. I despised it.
I laugh because we're at a point where everyone puts prophetess, pastor, or evangelist before their names, even on social media. The ones that were called and hung up a few times didn't even want the title. So you won't see them bragging about who they are. Once I finally obliged, I thought it would be a cake walk. I started the nonprofit as He said. I began the ministry. I created the online church and platform. Surely the rain is coming any minute now. Riiiiiigggghhhht NOW! How abouttttt NOW! OK God, this isn't funny. I thought where you guide, you provide... abundantly? Where's the manna? I promise I won't get sick of it.
When you're in a place that God called you and you see nothing happening, you want to run. Where's the fruit? You think of the life before. While not as fulfilling, it was carefree. There were no worries. No guesses. Money flowed better. Laughs were more abundant. There was freedom and fun. I even gave up sex as instructed (granted it took me 7 years). But I want my accolades because it's been 2 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day since the day of this blog. Times I've wanted to run even from this lifestyle.
There's nothing wrong with running. Honestly, there's not. You can leave a lifestyle of trusting and obeying. You can take matters into your hand, deciding you're tired of waiting. You can return to where you previously were before you answered the call, whatever call that was. We all want to run sometimes. But before you do, think of how it will make you feel. Will it be fulfilling? Worth it? What will you lose? Is it worth what you'll temporarily gain? Think of the prodigal son. The word prodigal means spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant. Though most of us believe it means wandering away. There are times I desire to be the prodigal daughter, knowing He doesn't care how far or long I run, as long as I come home. Then I remember that I have nothing to leave with. So that kills that. I'd be running with what I leave with and it's not much. So in that case, I might as well wait on God.
The thing about God is that He promises we'll reap a harvest IF we don't give up. He says His promises are yes and amen. He also says that those who are weary can come to Him and He'll give us rest. His Word says that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. If running still seems plausible to you, then run on my friend. But while I may be in a period of lack, I know my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I know He'll supply every one of my needs according to His glorious riches. If I run today, I may just miss what He's going to do tomorrow. My recommendation? Stay put. Rest when you need to. But stay anchored in Him. Run from the laws and rules, but don't leave Him behind. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. And it's a decision to be joyful regardless of the circumstances. Another fruit is peace. It's knowing that He's making a way. If nothing else, open your mouth and say, "Thank you Lord. I trust you."
Today, choose joy. Rejoice in all things. Laugh in the midst of your pain. It confuses the devil.