So lately I’ve been feeling extremely anxious. Due primarily to the semester coming to an end, finals, the search for jobs/internships, personal life, social life..etc. I’ve gotten so caught up in my own desires that I came to a dead end feeling lost, confused, and burnt out. I have been having dramatic highs and lows which I do not understand…I am confused with myself, with the world, and with God. The thing about God is he seems so mysterious and out of reach when in reality he lives within us through Christ. So when I am feeling distanced from God, the truth is I have made a wrong turn somewhere that lead me away from Christ.
This is exactly what has happened and I only realize it now. After a strange four days of feeling borderline depressed, I continued to pray and hope for it to be over. Yes I have battled with some of these emotions in the past but my solution in the past was to turn to alcohol, drugs, parties..etc. Anything to numb the reality, instead of facing it. Turning to God allowed me to leave all that behind, and yet I still find myself tempted with these habits during trials. My question was ‘why am I being tempted by this?’ ‘Isnt believing in Chirst supposed to rid me of temptation?’ ‘Doesnt God have a plan for my life so therefore I can keep doing what Im doing?’ ‘If god is sovereign does he control the bad things that happen to me?’ …I mean…the questions did NOT end. I was going around in circles driving myself mad. Why does this and that happen?…The answer is I DONT KNOW. I think so often people ask Christians difficult questions about life and expect them to know all the answers..which is a trial in itself. However one of my favorite verses to refer to in times of confusion is…
“Trust the Lord with all your heart, Do not depend on your own understanding; Seek his will in all that you do and he will show you which path to take” -Proverbs 3:5-6
We are merely human, only God is God. Only HE knows all things. If we do not understand why some things happen and do not have an explanation…we must humble ourselves before the Lord and TRUST that he does everything for a reason. Another favorite verse is “Don’t worry about anything; Instead pray about everything” -Philippians 4:6
So when you feel yourself confused, upset, angry…like everything has turned to gray and you’re not sure why..pray. Pray in the good and the bad, always turn to prayer. God is listening, keep knocking on his door and he WILL answer.
But going back to Proverbs 3:5-6…This is a verse I have been meditating on. I have been repeating it to myself, written it on my whiteboard, written in my journal…and now a blog post. Finally I see that the answer to all my recent worries and troubles has been right in front of me. Going back to my anxiety about school/job/life…(something I am sure we all tend to stress over) I realized the reason I have been filled with so much stress and anxiety is because I have been seeking to fulfill my own desires. I have been asking myself what should I do for summer? What kind of job do I want? What should I do today? I, I, I. The problem is not that I lack faith in God or that God is not hearing my prayers. The problem is that I have been selfish with what I am asking for. Instead, when you read closely “…seek HIS will in ALL that you do, and he will SHOW you which path to take.”
So the question I have to ask myself is ‘have I been seeking my own will or his will?’ I want to say his will, but Ill admit that although I pray for his will to be done I catch myself in selfish prayers that are aimed at my own selfish desires. This verse does not say seek his will in MOST of the things that you do….it says ALL that you do. The reason I started to spiral into darkness is because I did not seek his will in ALL that I did. Without even realizing it, my own selfish desires started to creep back into my life and caused me to stress, worry, and even want to turn away from God. My sinful nature starts to flood my mind again but I am reminded of Gods grace. Instead I pray because I know that without God, I am nothing. Here are a few more verses that were able to help me come to a better understanding of Gods will and his way during the storms and trials of life.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” James 1:2-3
So if you’re feeling worn out…go to him. Ask him for strength, for patience, for trust…for anything. Come with a pure heart before him and ask him for wisdom, and perhaps an extra drop of faith. Pray that he gets you through the storm, but whatever you do…don’t take your eyes off of him for that is when you begin to drown. Keep your eyes on Him who is the light of the world..and you will be able to do ALL things through him.
“And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” James 1:13-14
I feel like this is one of the BIGGEST eye-openers for me. Sometimes I feel that even temptations are from God, that he wants me to prove my faith. But God is not trying to tempt us, he wants to love us. The evil within us is driving us toward sin, not God. God has given us salvation through Jesus Christ (he who knew no sin)…therefore, through Christ we are pure. If you feel temptations it is NOT from God, for God only provides what is good. If you feel the temptations coming, pray. Pray in the name of Jesus Christ that you are relieved of your sinful nature for Christ has already paid the price.