February 23, 2021
Running Toward God and Not Away
Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. (Psalm 107:43, NIV).
Friend to Friend
One sunny afternoon, my family enjoyed a beautiful day at the zoo. To catch a bit of cool air, we opted to go into the reptile house. Though it’s not my favorite, the boys were anxious to see the snakes, so snakes it was. Within a few seconds of entering the foyer, all eyes honed in on the various exhibits.
Suddenly a low growl like a crocodile permeated the room. Within a minute, I could no longer see my sweet 3-year-old, Tristina’s, blonde curls bobbing anywhere nearby. Panic seized my husband and I at the same time. The circular building forced him one way and I the other. She was nowhere to be found. I raced out the building door, only to see a kind woman guiding Tristina back towards us. It all happened so fast. The thought of losing her and the mass relief of finding her overwhelmed my heart within seconds of each other. She had never been prone to wander at all, and we were always so careful, but in one moment of a faux crocodile growl in an exhibit, she ran.
The Christian life can feel a whole lot like that, can’t it? We can be near our God, within arm’s reach, enjoying His presence, but then at the hint of one problem, a single circumstance, or sudden change, we find ourselves running away from God. That “low crocodile growl” causes us to become prone to wander.
We can’t prevent interruptions in life, as we learned in 2020. So how do we remain close to the Lord when fear comes knocking on the doors of our hearts? Psalm 107 contains 4 stories of people in varying circumstances. The first three stories explain how the people had rebelled against the Lord and committed sin, so they cried out to the Lord when distress came. God heard their cry and delivered them. But the last story is different from the others. No one was in a state of rebelliousness against God. They were simply ordinary people going about their workday when they suddenly encountered an interruption that knocked them for a loop.
At some point, you and I will face distress just as the people in Psalm 107 did. whether in the form of rejection, abandonment, isolation, fear, or depression, it will come. Perhaps like my sweet little girl who feared a noise she felt to be real, we will carry an emotional or mental distress that makes us prone to wander away from the Lord.
1 Peter 4:12, it says: “"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you."
Then today’s key passage, Psalm 107:43 reads: “Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
The psalmist tells us exactly what to do in when we experience sudden life intrusions. Rather than allowing life changes cause us to run AWAY from God, we must allow the interruptions to run TO God. Instead of being prone to wander, we must be prone to ponder.
What the psalmist is sharing in this fourth story is that just as quickly as things can change for the bad, the Lord orchestrate circumstances to change for good. No interruption is ever wasted in God’s economy. Did you catch that? He always takes what the enemy means for evil and uses it for good. You can rest in His redemptive plan for your life today!
Lord, when I’m caught off guard, help me remember that You always take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good. When the interruption threatens to halt my relationship with You, let the Spirit push pause in my heart. Father, draw my attention to Your love through the interruptions.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When you read today’s truth, what were you reminded to be thankful for? Share it in the comments!
More from the Girlfriends
If you enjoyed this devotion, you’ll enjoy Rachel’s “Restore Me from Hurting to Healing”, a 31-day Bible reading plan and journal, available in paperback or digital download. Print it out, type in it on your device, or use the mark up feature on your tablet or iPad.
© 2021 by Rachel Wojo. All rights reserved.