After about a two-month hiatus, I’m back to Get It In Your Soul Blog! My little family just moved into our first house, and I have been very busy making it our home and adjusting to life as a homeowner.
But as I’ve been finding my feet in this new season, I was not walking in God’s way. My priorities became misplaced, and my days became very task-oriented. I was trying to be the perfect wife and mother and was utterly failing. I had little time or inspiration to do my job and write blog posts. My responsibilities were giving way to distractions and selfish desires. I was sinking into depression because I was overwhelmed and discouraged. Some days I would just give up before the day had even started.
But God is faithful. A couple of weeks ago, I cried out to Him, and He revealed to me that the source of my problems was that I was not focused on Him. I was not making time to spend just with Him, and I was trying to do life by my own strength and wisdom. I was going my own independent way instead of God’s way.
At church one time I heard a pertinent analogy using a train to illustrate what happens when we try to go our own way and leave God out. A train is self-powered and moves itself along, but it is dependent upon tracks to go anywhere. An engineer lays out the tracks in a purposeful network that guides the train in appropriate directions. Imagine if the train decided that it wanted to be independent and go its own way. It would literally be a train wreck, like the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia earlier this month. As soon as the train deviated from its appropriate path, disaster followed, killing eight people and injuring more than two hundred.
This is an extreme example, but the concept is true. When we, as Christians, try to go our own way, it never works out. We may not crash and burn right away, but the crisis will come eventually. When we step away from God’s way, we find ourselves off course and in the wilderness.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
I have been learning that that there is one way to live the Christian life: God’s way. When I get distracted and start doing things on my own rather than depending on Him, I find myself lost and feeling hopeless. My wilderness was trying so hard to do everything right that I isolated myself and became depressed.
I don’t know what your wilderness may be. It could be misplacing your priorities and focusing so much on work, family, ministry, etc., that you leave God out of your day. Or it could be something drastic like addiction and destructive behavior. If something is pulling you away from God’s way, a wilderness is your next destination.
But no matter the wilderness, God is always faithful. He is not domineering nor does He take satisfaction in watching your pain. Rather, He is just waiting for you to turn to Him so that He can show you grace and love and set your feet back on His right path (Psalm 40:1-2). It is His delight to do so.
So, take a moment to consider how you have been navigating your days and whether you are truly following in God’s way.
I hear God’s word behind me saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21, Driving Reflections—Guidance/Wisdom)