So…last Friday night was awesome!
It was our turn to serve at the Simonka House women’s shelter. In just a couple of hours we’d be leading the chapel time. The poems I had selected were okay, but something felt missing. So I stopped and prayed, asking the Lord if He had something specific for me to convey to the ladies. He did. Later, though filled with nerves, I boldly stood to share the new poem the Lord gave me (written from His perspective):
Running from Me as though you can hide.
Vain pursuits leave you empty inside.
Fleeing dark past for brighter tomorrows,
you’ll never outrun the pain and sorrows.
My child, you’ve resisted far too long
– Admit your weakness, I’ll make you strong.
For more than sufficient is My grace.
Stop trying to hide; lift up your face.
Can’t rewind, but you can turn around,
it’s not too late to cover new ground.
Adventures await the moment you pray,
“I trust You, Lord” in surrender today.
Some of the women at Simonka are pretty vocal, and that night was no exception. Throughout the poem, several voiced their agreement and affirmation. Humbled and awestruck by the response, I carefully finished reading. Many said “amen” and I was given a hearty applause. For the next few moments I shared a couple of thoughts about running from God before playing the song Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets. Then I sat down to listen to the message. At the end of our time together, many ladies approached me saying that my poem meant a lot to them, and few also asked if they could get a copy of it.
I shouldn’t be surprised that the Lord showed up, but sometimes I still am. Mostly I’m ecstatic just to be used so powerfully. Yet that’s what happens when we get out of our own heads, out of the way, and make ourselves available for whatever He wants.
Like Jonah, we may not want to do what God asks, either because we’re nursing a bad attitude or have succumbed to crippling fear (sometimes both!). We can easily run away from God spiritually, if not physically. At the very least we certainly wrestle with Him, holding back portions of our lives that we just can’t quite relinquish control of. But, as Jonah discovered, God doesn’t let us go that easily. He pursues us, often disciplining us until we finally surrender to His will in that area, abandoning our own logic and throwing ourselves at the foot of the cross. Then He lifts us up, dusts us off and sends us on incredible journeys we would never have dreamed of while stuck in our own stubbornness.
Along For The Ride
While I don’t run, I’m often timid when it comes to following God – at least when speaking in public! Constantly I must remind myself that fear doesn’t come from Him (2 Timothy 1:7), there’s no room for doubt because it’s not about me (Galatians 2:20), and that God loves me and knows what He’s doing.
On Friday I truly felt like I was just along for the ride, and what an amazing ride it was! If we remain surrendered to Him and available, He will work in and through us to do incredible things! But first we have to stop running, wrestling, or cautiously standing on the sidelines.
If you’re running from God, or wrestling with God in some area, don’t wait! The enemy wants you to cling tight, because he knows that what you hold on to… has a hold ON YOU, keeping you from fully enjoying all that God has for you. So surrender it to God, then get ready, because your next steps will be the first of many adventures!
For the full Bible story, read the book of Jonah (it’s only four chapters!).
Another song that fit with the theme is Big Fish by FFH. It’s a little corny, but catchy!
Blessings to you, this day and always!
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