The theme of this two-part series is emphasized in the book of Ecclesiastes. Click here to read an online version.
Last week, we talked about our natural inclination towards taking the reins of our lives and forging our own paths. When we do this, we are essentially going against the grain of God’s will for our lives. This can result in much pain and suffering if we are not careful. However, a life in submission to God will produce a state of joyous contentment that can only be found through Jesus Christ. The world will never satisfy the deep longing we all have for wholeness and completeness. Search as we may, but we will never find it here.
Perhaps you have experienced great hardship along your life journey. Maybe you have endured much heartbreak and disappointment resulting from the actions of others. Some of us may even be the ones who caused such hurt for others or to ourselves. No matter what you have been through, rest assured that we are all foundationally in the same boat. Not one of us is perfect and capable of being flawless (Genesis 6:11-12, Romans 3:9-20, Mark 10:18). That said, we all need healing. Yet, the healing we need goes beyond our physical experiences; we need the help of a Savior who can heal our souls.
If you have ever received professional counseling before, then you know that recovery is a process. As much as we would love to go from Step A to Step Z overnight, it never works that way. Unfortunately, our expectations can get in the way and cause us to drift to more expedient resolutions. This can come in the form of substance use, addictive behaviors, thrill-seeking behaviors, technology overuse, workaholism, overeating, and so-on. Essentially, we try to numb our emotional pain through adverse behaviors that can cause us great harm in the long run. The reality is, we don’t get to the root of our pain when we participate in these distractions. We only delay the healing and prolong the internal suffering.
There are many ways that God chooses to restore us. Sometimes it comes in the form of a direct, more spontaneous resolution of something we have been battling for some time (i.e., a miraculous physical healing). Many times, it comes in the form of an ongoing “walk with God”. It’s important that we realize that the path of healing is often a winding dirt road and not a linear 5-lane highway. What’s more, is that we may feel like we are taking two steps back for every one step forward sometimes. However, when we allow God to lead us, we can expect that He is going to shake our foundations a bit to establish us on the Rock (Isaiah 40:4). Where we have been misguided, He will redirect. Where we have fallen, He will lift us up. Where we have got up on our high horse, He will bring us down. God has no limits; He will work in ways that defy all human understanding (Matthew 19:26; Romans 11:33-36). He knows exactly what we need and how to accomplish that (Isaiah 55:8-9). Refinement is necessary and to be expected (Ecclesiastes 7:3; Romans 5:3-5). When we’re ready, He’ll equip us with all we need to make it through our experiences (1 Corinthians 10:13). But remember that restoration is a process. Be gentle on yourself. Keep the faith, and don’t lose hope! There is a greater purpose to your life story (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Deuteronomy 8:2-5; Hebrews 12:10-11; Romans 8:28), and everything is right on schedule.
Slide on over into the passenger seat and buckle up. God has something beautiful in store for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Enjoy the journey!
Have you found yourself drifting into a state of self-sufficiency or self-preservation?
My prayer for you this week:
May you be blessed this week and rest in the assurance that God sees you and all you are going through.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and now grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Rescue Story by Zach Williams