How do you react when everything seems to be going wrong? Sometimes your fight or flight kicks in. Flight seems to be the first choice for many of us. We just want to get away from everything, crawl under a rock and try to hide from it. A pity party is also a popular choice. There’s nothing like giving up and complaining that life just isn’t fair. Then there’s the “Why, God” approach. We complain to God about how we’re being treated and wonder if He even cares. I can say I’ve been through all these at one time or another. However, there’s also the choice to let hard times push us closer to God. When nothing makes sense, it only makes sense to search for the One who can make sense of it all. He also is an excellent place of refuge.
In Genesis 16, Abram and Sarai had decided to help God fulfill His promise to them of making them parents. Sarai gave her servant Hagar to Abram to have a kid with, then they would take the kid and raise him. Except when Hagar got pregnant, she began to look down on Sarai. SoSarai became vengeful and treated Hagar so harshly that she chose the flight option. While she was away, desperate, broken and in need, God found her and sent His angel. After giving her a promise for her soon to be born son Ishmael, she gained hope. In verse 13 it says, “Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’ She also said, ‘Have I truly seen the One who sees me?’” NLT
God sees us in our distress. No matter how far we run or how big of a pity party we have, His hope is that we will search for Him and trust His plan. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” God has not abandoned you in your time of need. He’s not left you to fight your battles alone. You may not see it, but going through difficult seasons is often how He builds our faith, course corrects and draws us closer to Him. His desire is that we will search for Him and fully rely on Him. You can trust in Him and in His plan especially when you can’t see the way forward. He is a good God and has a plan you can trust in even when it seems all hope is lost. He sees you in the middle of your storm. You are not forgotten.
What do you do when you’re stressed, under attack or when everything seems to be going wrong? We all have a fight or flight switch in our brain. When it’s to for flight, where do you go? What do you normally do? I tend to close up, get quiet and go to bed early. My body and brain run through every scenario of how to get out of it or resolve the conflict. I expend lots of energy and brain power thinking about it to the point that it consumes me. I know some people whose response is to complain about it looking for sympathy. Others will try to express it in art to help them process everything. We all go to something to help us cope with the situation. Sometimes that thing we run to is a bad habit or an old sin that we just can’t seem to beat.
When David was under attack, he went on the run to other cities and caves. I’ve been to the area in Israel where he would run to. It’s hot there and there’s not much in that area to sustain life. Every time we go through that area, I look up into the mountains looking for caves wondering, “Is that one that David stayed in? Why would he come here?” However, God used his time on the run to refocus his attention back to where it belonged. A mighty warrior like him could easily think his own might was good enough to save himself, but God reminded him that He was his rock, fortress and sure salvation. David’s faith and trust in God grew while he was on the run because he learned to trust in God’s character during those times.
Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe” (NLT). The word “name” here actually translates to “the character of God.” Instead of blaming God for our situation, we need to be trusting in His character. To do that, I think about Lamentations 3:22-23. It says, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” I draw comfort from those words knowing that God is not the source of my problems. He’s the source of my refuge and strength from them. He is faithful to grow me through them and to deliver me when the time is right. When troubles come your way, don’t run away from God. Instead run to Him remembering His character that has always sustained you.