"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chasing After You

There comes a point and time within our lives that we outgrow things. We grow apart from people, places get boring, and we long for more. The people, places, things, and even responsibilities that once satisfied us on a day to day basis become monotonous and we become bored with life. Every day, the same old thing, looking at the same people, places, and things! We stop growing SPIRITUALLY. We become dissatisfied with life, and we begin to ask God if this is all there is. "Will I be this forever? Will I always have to deal with these people? Why does my life seem so pointless?"

It was at one of these points in my life that I began to question God. I asked God why. "Where did I go wrong? Why do I feel this way even though outsiders looking in would see a blessed life? Although I am unable to pinpoint one particular cause for these feelings, why am I unsatisfied with my life?"

I can remember vividly the day God moved me to ask for prayer from my church family. At this point, I was just in survival mode, going though the daily motions. I would put my happy face on just long enough for me to get away from people. I became a master at fighting back the depression that cut so deeply into my soul. My heart hurt, literally! When I was alone, I would cry until I had drained my eyes of every drop of any tear that was available. I really think I reached a point where I actually cried dry tears. I'm so glad that when I'm hurting so bad and I don't know the words to say, that God accepts my tears as a cry for help; because I had literally quit talking to Him. HOW DANGEROUS!

On that unforgettable Sunday morning, my pastor at the time, prayed for me during services with all of the mothers and ladies of the church surrounding me. I wish I could say that at that point, I felt better, but I didn't. My soul still hurt, my eyes still burned, and heart still ached. I wanted more. I was thirsty for the next level in Christ. Imagine the woman who had the issue of blood; reaching and stretching to touch the hem of His garment, but she is just about a half-inch away and no matter how much she stretches and reaches, she is just unable to grab a hold of Jesus. That is exactly the way that I felt. I felt so close to Him, yet so very far away from where I desired to be.

After our morning worship services, the pastor called me into his office. He looked me square in my eyes. It was almost as if he could read my pain. Then he said plainly, "OK. What's really up?" I released everything that I truly felt. Still reading my pain, he said, "God has something for you to do!" This was no news to me, but I didn't feel that I could do what God wanted me to do. I was torn between what I wanted and what God wanted for me. This fight caused my emotions to spin into overdrive. I didn't know who I was now. I had created my own identity, and God was attempting to recreate me. I was dying to myself, and quite honestly, I didn't want to.

The person that I had created was being removed from me. I was, in God’s way, transforming. I was unable to see it at the time, but each time I cried, I became closer to God. There comes a point in our spiritual lives when we must move higher! As we grow spiritually, God requires more of us. I had stopped chasing after God. I felt like I was stuck in a puddle of quicksand and I was sinking quickly with no one around to help pull me out; no one around to even yell to. God wanted me closer and our relationship to go deeper. He knew what He had to do in order to break me, humble me, and have me long for His spirit and closeness in the next level. I finally began to talk to God again. In other words, I went into fervent prayer! I prayed listlessly. I had no idea what I was going to say until I opened my mouth and sometimes I did not know what I had said after I had finished.

My prayers paid off, and I knew that God was listening to me. I was going to church. I was trying to live right. I was even reading and studying my Bible faithfully, but I was not working on my relationship with God. I always prayed when I wanted or needed something. I never spent time in His presence just glorifying His name. He had revealed this to me. This is what I needed to do to quench my spiritual thirst.

When we want something bad enough, we go after it. We can focus on saving money for an item that we so desperately want. We spend time just thinking about it. We think about what we are going to look like when we get it, and who we want to see us with it. We chase after it! If we can find ourselves doing this for things, why is it that our human nature keeps us form chasing after God? We say that we want Him, but we don't chase after Him! God wants us to draw near to Him. When we do not chase after God, first we get complacent, then unsatisfied, and eventually, depressed. I did not feel secure that there was more that my life had to offer me. I did not feel secure because I did not chase after God and could not see His purpose for my life.

Many women have talked with me since the start of this project. They have shared with me that they have hopes and dreams in life, and that they are really unsatisfied with their current situations. The same way the pain was read on my face in my pastor's office that day; I could read the pain that cut them just as deeply if not deeper than it cut me. I saw hidden pain under the masked happy faces. Some have worn that fake face for many years now. When we are not following God's will for our lives, we lose our joy that He has given us, and very little in life makes us happy.

I encourage you to chase after God today. Work on building your relationship with Him. It is within Christ that all of our joy resides. You can live in the trendiest city, have the family of the year, be your own boss, and even have the looks of a beauty queen, but joy will not be found in any of these. The only joy that lasts is the joy of Jesus Christ. I will forever be chasing after God because I know that I can always grow closer to Him. It feels good to be close! It gives joy unspeakable! We are never too saved to chase after God! I will seek His face. Let's not forget that it is He who has saved us in the first place. I am so glad that my Father is the only one that I can go to who will never forsake me. I'm so glad that He will always lend his ear to hear my voice and will be glad to hear from me every time. And, He's the only one that can take my pain away.

Psalm 34:18 says, The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (KJV)

Psalm 34:22 says, The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall he desolate.

Lord, I thank You now for making me die to myself so that I could live for You. I ask that You continue to give Your knowledge and wisdom so I may recognize when You are working in my life. I thank You for listening to me and comforting me like no one else can. Lord, I love You, and I appreciate the royal privilege to live for You. Even though this journey is rocky and there are times that I get stuck, I am so glad that You father me and take me through what I must endure in order to grow closer to You. Lord I will chase after You, as I continue to seek Your face, for I know that no one can love me like you do. I ask that You touch the life of anyone that is currently in the dying process. Make Your will for their life plain before their eyes. Please reveal unto Your children the purpose for storms in our lives. Lord, I ask that You continue to allow me to grow closer to you, for I realize that I am unworthy of touching even the hem of your garment. Thank You Lord for loving a sinner like me!

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