One too many horrific news stories have crossed my path in the last week. Whether it be kidnappings, tornadoes, shootings, or untimely deaths… I’ve been overwhelmed by the state of this fallen world that we live in. This isn’t really anything new though. I’ve always been pretty sensitive to sad events.
When I get disheartened like this, it’s hard for me to turn to God. Mostly because I feel angry toward him. It’s like there’s this child version of myself inside that’s stomping her feet and crossing her arms, demanding God to put a stop to this madness. But he doesn’t listen. So the little girl just yells louder. He still doesn’t listen. So she turns and walks away. I fear this will be our interaction, so I don’t even bother to approach him.
Well, unfortunately (sense sarcasm here please), someone had the nerve of giving me the book “Jesus Calling.” (Heeey Juliana! Love ya girl!) This book is sort of creepy. It’s like it knows what you’re going through each day. Not to mention that I look at it and feel a literal gravitational pull towards it. (Insert Twilight Zone Theme Music here please) Ok, seriously though, this devotional is powerful. As I was going through my overwhelming feelings of sadness and inner-child temper tantrum I read this:
I want you to know how safe and secure you are in My Presence. That is a fact, totally independent of your feelings… When you forget I am with you, you may experience loneliness or fear. It is through awareness of My Presence that Peace displaces negative feelings. Practice the discipline of walking consciously with Me through each day.
Nailed it! Ha! How true is it that I often base reality on my feelings and not on fact? Despite my feelings that God “doesn’t listen,” He does. He cares deeply for the many people who are suffering. (Side note: If you have questions about why God allows suffering in the world, I highly recommend you read, “The Problem of Pain” by C.S. Lewis) I have been so encouraged by this devotional and I plan to practice “the discipline of walking consciously with God each day.”
In my Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality course, our professor talked about sitting in the “garden of the soul” with God. Sounds kind of cheesy, I know, but it’s actually quite moving. The idea is that instead of seeing all of the things I need to change in my life, the “weeds of my garden” if you will, I sit with God and allow Him to be the Gardner. I ask him how He would like me to be pruned and let Him do the pruning. Well, one time, during this meditative exercise, God revealed two “weeds” in my “garden”: Fear and Doubt. They were so big, they looked more like trees. I knew then that their removal would be no easy task. Since that exercise however, God is gracefully and diligently removing fear and doubt from my mind. I am beginning to experience His peace intellectually, even when I feel irrational fear. I am learning to not base reality on feelings of fear, but on my knowledge of God.
Hearing about tragedy is so difficult for me. Ultimately, it is because I become overly-anxious with fear that something horrific could happen to me or my loved ones. I hate being reminded that this world is scary and that I have no control over it. I am learning the importance of practicing being in God’s presence so that I am not blind-sighted each time I see the evening news. There is something powerful about knowing that the God of the universe is with me. I am reminded of my final destination…
You are on your way to heaven; nothing can prevent you from reaching that destination. There you will see Me face to Face, and your joy will be off the charts by any earthly standards. Jesus Calling, May 19th
I experience so much peace when I can remember the truth that God provides us. I wish that everyone I know and love could experience His peace. I wish that there weren’t such horrific events in this world. Yet, I am thankful that God exists. I am thankful that he offers us the opportunity to experience peace and most of all, I am thankful for his promise to one day eradicate suffering for eternity.
How do you conquer feelings of fear and doubt?
If you liked this post, you may also like:
- Why We Can Pray When Overwhelmed (callforfireseminar.wordpress.com)