Wednesday in the Word
It has really been a long time since I've shared on this blog how the Word has been speaking to me in my QT, and it's really nice to be back.
After my father's passing, I wanted to reread the bible from front to back, because I wanted to just reset. I didn't want to look for verses and books that could give me closure and comfort; I wanted to be able to find comfort simply in God. If you've been with me for a while, then you probably remember me restarting from Genesis quite a few times, and to answer your question: Yes, I have made it from Genesis to Revelations on multiple occasions. I'm still currently in Psalms, which is great, because I am taking a class that is delving pretty deep into studying Psalms, and we are doing a six week series on Psalms 23 at church. God's timing is always perfect, right?
I have a really strong attachment to Psalms 23. When I first became a Christian, my friend gave me Psalms 23, and I remember reading it over and over again until I memorized it in my heart, because it gave me peace.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in path of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." - Psalms 23
As a new Christian, this verse just meant "Don't worry, if you believe in God, everything you want to happen will happen." It gave me hope to look forward to, and gave me the naive reason I needed in that moment to look forward to tomorrow. It was a step towards blind faith, and my heart was not in the right place as I prayed and poured over this verse at the time. For a while, it seemed to work. My father's illness got better, and by the end of my Freshman year, my father's situation had gotten to a place where he almost seemed normal. New friends wouldn't even be aware that he was fighting cancer! God was my genie in the bottle, and I loved Him for what He could give me.
That was almost a decade ago. Every time I've come across this verse, I always look back to that first, naive love I had for God -- as a child believing that her daddy is perfect in every way and able to solve anything, I believed. I loved with the selfish belief that I deserved a perfect love, and that by believing, my life will get more and more "perfect".
In many ways, my views have changed over the years. As my heart changed from wanting to be served to wanting to serve, I realized that the life of a Christian was never meant to be an "easy way" of life. For starters, my dad was not physically healed, and even in his last moments, as I held his hand, crying out to God, He didn't answer my prayer. What God did answer was: He took my daddy away from pain and sickness, and opened his eyes to see us. He gave him many, many chances to hear the Gospel over and over again, and I believe God opened his heart to receive Jesus before bringing him back to His Kingdom. Though it was very hard to accept that physical death was the best answer for all of us, God is infinitely wise in His plan, and we must concede. My dad was spiritually healed and isn't suffering anymore. My mother can finally have a bit of rest from taking care of him. My sister and I can go to work without worrying about not making it to say goodbye in time. Our debt is no longer racking up from treatment. He had all of us with him as he left this world behind. God, in His boundless love and sovereignty, gave all of us the best case scenario and closure to this very difficult chapter.
Of course I was angry at God -- who wouldn't be? As much as I was thankful, I was also angry. I understood that God solved this situation with so much grace, and that this is His perfect love in action. I understood that this was perfect timing, and that "perfect" isn't necessarily what we want, but what we need. My anger was fueled by my lack of discipline and overwhelming fear.
More and more, I am recognizing how much I am like a sheep: I'm scared of everything. The unknown gives me heebie jeebies, and I was (and still am) so scared of how to live without my daddy. I always imagined him making his weird crafty toys for his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and me telling him that he's a dork from the "Dinosaurus Age". I'm scared of locking myself into a career that I don't like. I'm scared of getting into school and taking the next step towards my future. I'm scared of committing in a relationship that might end in heartbreak. I have so many insecurities and I know that in a perfect relationship with perfect faith in God, these worries shouldn't deter me. My wants are distractions from God's Will, and until I align my desires with seeking God and His Will, I am going to continuously find myself in a cycle of being the wandering sheep that was too scared and high strung to rest and follow. I have to trust that God, my Shepherd, has led me to a safe haven with green pastures and clean water. I have to have faith that as I am walking into scary places and situations, that God is with me, protecting me, and keeping away hurt and evil.
The more and more I find myself lacking in faith, the closer God pulls me to Him, telling me it is okay to revert back to that childlike faith I once had; the naivete I once had that made me a "baby-Christian" is now what I need to seek. As I read and pray over this verse, He reveals to me more and more how much I lack in having "childlike faith". Rather than worshiping God as my Heavenly Father, Lord, Savior, Friend, Peace, and Love, I've been worshiping Him as an idol in my heart. This is something that God is slowly, but surely pulling me away from by consistently teaching me to let go of everything that holds me back from knowing He is in control; He is my shepherd.
How is God speaking to you these days? Are there things that hold you back from trusting Him? I'd love to hear more from you! Feel free to connect with me on Instagram: @s_sewan, or send me an email through the "Contact" tab! If you see that I am online, we can also chat with the new chat feature on this blog :) Let's continue building this online ministry together~ And of course, if you are not a Christian, and this post makes absolutely no sense to you and I sound like a religious nutjob, you can also contact me with asylum recommendations, and we can strike up a conversation about it!