Turning to God when life and the world feels like too much and all you want to do is shut it all out
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the different things we’re feeling in this season of life.
Honestly, it’s difficult not to.
Stress, frustration, anger, annoyance, agitation. We’re feeling things about this pandemic, these protests, our government. We’re losing patience and just wish that people could just “behave” and stop causing so much trouble.
Why can’t people just stay home? Why can’t people just wear their masks? Why do people have to be so violent? Why must people be so stubbornly opinionated? Why can’t we all just get along?
Can’t we just get through this nightmare of a year without something else erupting?!
We see the tension throughout our country, we’re struggling with our own problems at home, and continue to fight those battles in our own minds. All of it just feels like so much. Like we simply cannot take one more thing or we will surely have a complete breakdown. Like we’re just barely staying afloat, one crashing wave away from drowning in all of it. Some days it just feels easier to shut it all out. To stifle the noise with a good Netflix binge or sleep, simply because it’s all too much to deal with 24/7.
But you know what? None of what’s happening in the world right now is a surprise to God. And surely, He hasn’t let you out of his sight for even a second. What’s happening in this world, how you’re feeling about all of it, the things you’re currently struggling with, He’s aware of all of it. While He sees the whole world hurting, and how our own country aches, He also sees you, his child, and knows the specific troubles you face.
Some of us may wonder why God would see our pain and still allow us to be buried by one problem after another (which is often due to our own poor choices). But we can forget that He sometimes allows us to endure difficult and incredibly challenging times because He wants to teach us something. He has something to show us. He has something He desperately wants us to understand. There are things He may have been trying to teach you, but it ended up requiring the full force of a pandemic to get your attention.
The season of quarantine has been difficult for many of us. It has tested our patience, pushed us to face issues we’ve been ignoring, and allowed us to become more aware of our bad habits. Overall, it has placed us in incredibly unique situations that most of us have never faced before. And these past few months have really forced us to look at, and sit in, those yucky things we have been so good at ignoring.
And now that those things have been brought to our attention, we are given a choice. We can either sweep it back under the rug, pretending nothing happened, or we can keep it in the light and bring it to God, allowing him to help us work through those issues or bad habits.
But before you hastily decide to shove your imperfections back into a dark corner, hidden away from friends and family, here’s something to remember: Our God is there for us to run to, imperfections and all.
Our God doesn’t want us to feel that shameful desire to keep sweeping things back under the rug to remain a dirty secret. He is there for us to bring our problems and our struggles to. He’s not just there to judge us when we’ve done something wrong. He doesn’t see you in all of your struggles and yell at you to do better. He’s not there to make sure we follow every rule perfectly, and to punish us when we don’t. Our God loves us beyond what we could ever imagine. Beyond what we could fathom. And the amount of grace that he has for us is overflowing. No matter how many times we mess up, we can turn around to find our heavenly Father waiting with arms wide open, ready to receive us, junk and all.
What we are facing in our world today is hard and heavy, but none of it is a surprise to God. And as he has revealed things to you over these last few months, and continues revealing things, his goal is not to overwhelm you. He’s simply asking if you will let him in to work on those places, allowing him to use you in greater ways.
With this season of everything feeling like it’s all just too much, it can be tempting to shut down. It can be tempting to tell God, “Nope, this is all too much to deal with right now, so please come back at a more convenient time”. But how often would God be able to use us and show his amazing power if he only did it at a time that was “convenient” for us?
So how about this, instead of focusing on the chaos around you, that you have no control over, ask God what it is that He wants to show you and how He can use you during this time. There may be something he’s trying to teach us in all of this, but we’ll never know if we keep our eyes closed and ears covered.
Will you continue to ignore and shut everything out, or will you let God in to turn your whole world upside-down, and use you in a way you never could have imagined?