Dinner tonight with a couple friends was interesting. After my buddy was rejected by our hot waitress (she apparently has a boyfriend), the conversation meandered all over the place. I told tales of my beautiful Love and her annoying Papillion. We pondered all of the typical things guys ponder at a tavern. My buddy then had to dip and I was left alone with a new friend – one whom intrigues me greatly.
Once the bill was paid, the new friend and I sat at the booth and proceeded to explore some tragic territory. He basically bashed God for 45 minutes and blamed God for every failure in his life. It broke my heart to see how pissed and how hurt this guy was. He said that God just sits around and watches his life fall apart without doing anything about it. I didn’t say much. I just listened as this guy pointed fingers at God and everyone else in the world for his problems. When I asked if he still believed in God, he responded that he was just a hair away from walking away altogether.
I really feel this guy’s pain. Back in college many nights were spent venting to a friend (Nick Sells for the majority of one semester) about how I was ready to quit on God and just do my own thing. There was such depression, frustration, and hopelessness in those days. Life felt hard. I didn’t feel God, didn’t hear God, and didn’t like my circumstances. There were many nights that I almost threw in the towel on my relationship with God and just called the whole thing quits.
Several of Jesus’ disciples walked away from him after a particular event. When Jesus turned to his twelve and asked if they would leave as well, Peter gave this response:
“But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” (John 6:68)
That’s the key. When life doesn’t make sense, when our circumstances seem unbearable, when we don’t feel God’s presence, when we lose someone we love, when the structures in our lives crumble, when we don’t understand what’s going on, when utter loneliness and depression sets in, to whom shall we turn? We can shake our fists at God but then what? Jesus has the words of eternal life; who or what other than Him is left for us to seek out?
I’m going through a really rough month. Perhaps you are, too. If you’re going through a troubling time, let me encourage you to stick closely to the Lord. He’s with you, He’s watching you, and He is deeply in love with you. God uses the trials to refine us and grow us into men and women that intimately know Him and genuinely trust Him. Don’t be like my friend was tonight. Don’t let your circumstances grow roots of bitterness and animosity in your heart against God and the rest of the world. Draw near to God and worship Him anyways. He’s worthy of our praise whether we feel up to it or not. Just press on, keep on, hang on. After you’ve tasted the living water, there’s nowhere else to go that will satisfy the thirst in your soul. Jesus is everything you’re longing for. Don’t be deceived in thinking that the world has anything to offer that will truly satisfy your thirst. Whatever it is that you’re desiring, missing, aching for, or dreaming of, you’ll find it in the one that shed his blood on the cross for you. I’m not trying to be preachy here.. just aching for my friends that are walking away from God. Just go back and save yourself some pain and regret. He loves you so stinkin’ much and really wants the best for you. Let God have His way in your heart and life. You’ll come out with a smile on your face, a joy in your life, a beautiful spirit, and a peace that surpasses comprehension and understanding.
And if you have no clue what I'm talking about because you've never given your heart to Jesus in the first place, consider doing it tonight. You'll never be the same.