It’s been awhile since I have written on here. The funny thing is, I’ve had more time on my hands the past few months as I’ve been transitioning, so I thought I would write a lot more. Truth is, my mind has been going and going lately which has kept me from writing. I’m a thinker as it is but lately the best way to explain it is for you to just picture a hamster wheel. And just a confession: I have not been channeling my thoughts and anxiety in a healthy way, which is kind of where I am headed with this post. This might sound silly and legalistic to some of you but I have turned to food, T.V., and lazily sitting on the couch or scrolling through social media feeds for comfort and distractions. Not that those things are bad in and of themselves, but if I am turning to something to ease my anxiety or “cope” that’s a problem. If I say to myself after several anxious thoughts arise, “This scoop of ice cream will change my mood” or “I’ll just watch one show and spend time with Jesus later” (which for me has resulted in not spending time with Him at all) then I have to question where I am seeking comfort. As I write this it sounds so silly, but I’ve been denying that it actually has had an effect on how I approach God so it helps to write out my thoughts. I debated on sharing this post publicly but I don’t think I am alone here and I want this to be an encouragement to whoever would hear. If you can be honest with yourself, ask what or who you run to for comfort. What patterns do you see when dealing with stress? How do you justify your actions? Again, please hear me out–I am not by any means saying that the things or people you turn to are bad in and of themselves, but the motive for which you turn to them might be. At least that’s what I have noticed in my life.
I don’t think the solution for me is to cut out T.V., sitting on the couch, or cut out certain foods completely (mainly ice cream for me haha). I think the only solution is found in setting my mind to Christ, placing myself under the waterfall of His grace, which is primarily seen in God’s Word. I’ve often struggled with the fact that when I don’t “feel” like reading my Bible, I just skip out on it or see it as a burden. But I realized I tend to approach God’s Word wrongly. The beauty of the Christian faith is that it is not dependent upon us to try in our own strength to be more like Christ. Christ has become for us and done for us what we could not do on our own. We get to simply look at Christ and behold Him. There’s freedom in knowing that I get to rest and stop the endeavor of trying to become like Him. When I come to His Word I don’t want to be preoccupied with trying to be like Christ, I just want to be occupied with Him. I’ve noticed that the more I look to Christ, the more I see Him as beautiful and inevitably the more I will be drawn to Him. The point of approaching God’s Word is to meet with the living God of the Bible.
The solution to these anxious thoughts does not happen through some sort of methods. It is simply to humble myself and acknowledge that I cannot find true rest or satisfaction in anything apart from Christ. The solution is found in not only fleeing lesser things, but fleeing toward something greater–namely, Christ. To say that something is wrong or sinful must mean that there is an alternative. And for God to set boundaries, He only does so because He wants us to experience the fullness of joy found in Him alone. This doesn’t mean that I will spend time in the Word all day, everyday and that I will forsake T.V, food, or anything else that I feel may be at times useless for me. It just means that in those moments of consumption, I should be aware of where true rest is found and yet still find a balance in enjoying common graces given by God. In other words, the Giver of the gifts is much sweeter and worthy than the gift itself.
So next time I am bombarded with anxious thoughts which often lead me to distract myself by scrolling through social media, watching hours of T.V., or turning to food, I want to remember the words in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” The words “be still” in this context basically mean “shut up.” I want to silence my thoughts and be still. By being still, I can then know that God is my refuge and strength. Psalm 46 begins and ends with this truth. Sometimes I spend time drawing verses to remind myself of wonderful truths found in God’s Word and today happened to be one of those days.
If you don’t know this God that I speak of as a refuge and strength, I encourage you to read scripture for yourself and simply look at who God is. Don’t settle for the idea of a god you’ve already made Him to be in your head. The character of God is not found in our finite minds, but in His Word. We won’t have all the answers, but seeking God in His Word leaves no room for a god we can manufacture in our heads. We get to see in plain view that God is all these things I cannot even attempt to put into words. The only way we get to know the heart of God is to spend time in His Word, so I plead that if you do not claim Christ as your Savior, that you spend some time in the Bible seeing who He really is. If you are a believer and for some reason feel you have “arrived” at thinking you know God (this is me all the time), please know there is more of God to know and love until we meet Him face to face. And even then we will still bask in His glory for all of eternity so why settle? Whoever is reading this, I pray that you find joy in knowing God and being known by Him who loved you enough to send His Son to the cross.
For His glory,