Running From the Lord

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Sometimes I get so impatient for the Lord. I am tempted to be like many of the folks of the Bible and take matters into my own hands. Instead of waiting on His timing, I push for mine.

I remember one time when I was living in Pennsylvania, and I was spending time with this guy. He was a good man, a godly man, but not the man for me. I did not want to admit this to myself; I wanted so badly for the relationship to work. I just wanted something to work. So I spent time working on this relationship that was not right, and I was miserable. For weeks I was a mess, and one Sunday a friend of mine asked me what was going on. I lost it, I just broke down crying. I was trying so hard to be what this guy wanted, and even though there was nothing wrong with him, there was something wrong with us.

Whenever I begin to feel myself pushing for my timing, I think about this very defining event. I think about crying in the back row at church, about the beautiful handkerchief my friend gave me, about the freedom I felt when I walked away from my misplaced desire in order to be obedient. It was hard, but it was also so liberating. All of those memories make my will seem empty. I wonder if Jonah ever felt this way. He ran and things got terrible. He preached repentance and his enemies surrendered to the Lord—he sulked and his shade withered. Going to Joppa was not a sin, but running from the Lord was.

Lately I have been really convicted about my pride, like Jonah I often think I know better than the Lord. Like Jonah I often run away until the Lord captures me and puts me in the middle of His plan. But unlike Jonah’s known story, while dealing with my pride, God has been gracious to gift me with a growing acknowledgement and confidence in His promises and truths. While He is breaking down my earthly pride, He is also building my eternal confidence. While I am being stripped of self, He is clothing me with His worth and delight.

The last week has been significantly rough—deadlines unmet, phone calls unanswered, water finding a way to my tear ducts and into the cracks in the basement, and yet there has been great peace. The peace makes no earthly sense. I should be reacting like Jonah, searching for a tree in the wilderness away from happy people, a place to be bitter and salty. But God is doing something new in me. He is awakening me to my worth in Him, not worth in my job, not worth in my status, not worth in my home. My worth in Him. And with this very basic understanding of my worth has come peace.

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