Chocolate For Your Soul with Sheri Rose Shepherd - Monday, April 21, 2014
Note: today's Bible Life Coaching devotional originally appeared last year. Sheri Rose Shepherd will be back soon with new devotional content; in the meantime, here's one of our favorites from the Bible Life Coaching archives.
Wait, Don't Walk Away! by Sheri Rose Shepherd
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! — Psalm 116
Where do you run when life overwhelms you, and you cannot take any more? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, or maybe life has hit you harder than you ever expected. I know many times life does not seem fair or just. I wish I could give you a reason for every sad and awful thing that happens on this earth. I wish I could pray away all the pain this life brings. What I do know is that our Lord feels our pain and hears our prayers and has the power to help us overcome anything in this life.
Before I became a Christian, when I was in pain, I ran to food, drugs, and alcohol to escape, and as you know, it caused destruction in my life. Eventually, however, I believed I was destined for more than destruction. I wanted desperately to crawl out of this deep, dark hole of despair, but the harder I tried, the deeper I fell. I had nowhere to run.
Even after I became a Christian, I did not know how to process the pain this life brings. Somehow, I thought that following Jesus would eliminate emotional pain. So whenever I experienced emotions that did not feel godly, I ignored them. I thought if I kept my feelings covered up, they would go away. I handled my heart the same way I did before I was a Christian. I put my life in fast-forward by setting more goals and filling my schedule with excessive busyness. I did this so I would not have to feel or deal with anything emotionally difficult.
In theory, that sounds like it might work, but in real life it causes emotional meltdowns. At one point of my life, I had buried so much of my emotional pain that every part of my body was hurting. I had panic attacks, crying spells, loss of memory, and chronic depression. When I had no more strength or desire to run any longer, I finally found freedom and powerful peace. I learned to run to God and cry out to my Daddy in heaven.
I don’t know where your heart is at this moment, but I do know how to lead you to your Father in heaven, in whose presence healing begins and strength is renewed so you can run free in Christ.
God's Letter to You
I believe if The Lord was going to write you a personal letter about battles this life brings it may read like this....
Please don’t walk away from me when life hits hard, my love. I know sometimes you hurt so bad you want to blame me. I understand how hard it is for you to keep your heart committed to me, when you feel I have disappeared in the midst of your despair. I am here and I am working things out for you even when it seems as if nothing has changed. I have my hand on you and extended to you at all times. No one can hold you as close as I can. So don’t run my love, unless it is into my arms of mercy.
Love, Your Prince and Pursuer
Treasure of Truth
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
All the days of my life, and I will live in the house
of the Lord forever. — Psalm 23:6