I always wondered what it is like to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed”. I’d hear it being said all the time, but never truly understood it till today.
I woke up this morning – correction, I dragged myself out of bed this morning – with a numbness throughout my body. And my mood, ugh. It was like all this time all the things that hurt me physically and mentally were on pause and today it was like all of them decided to un-pause themselves. When I voiced out my body’s cry of pain, I had the word “lazy” thrown at me which made me want to scream bloody murder, but that was just the beginning of a very crabby day.
About late afternoon, somewhere in the midst of tears and homicidal intentions, I looked at my phone and there was an alert from YouTube about a new video. Normally, I ignore these alerts because I think I’ll watch it when I feel like it. (That doesn’t stop me from leaving the alerts on, for some reason.) As I was trying to swipe the notification away, I accidentally opened the link and the song that played made my eyes allow those tears to fall freely.
It was just what I needed to hear. That all my hurt and pain is being carried away by Him. That no matter how dismissive the world may be toward my pain, there is One who notices it all and bothers to find some way to talk to me even when I am in the crabbiest mood and refusing to listen to anyone. Even when I am so down on myself and feel like I am so alone, He finds the perfect words to show me that I am not and never will be alone. That no matter all the garbage that the world so generously keeps throwing at me, there is still hope for a very hopeless nobody like me.
No one could love me like You do. No one could and no one would. Your heart bleeds with love for me. Your eyes they search my very soul. Your hands they reach out to me. Especially when I don’t deserve it the most.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve apologized and You took me back. But they don’t outweigh the times I’ve forgotten to apologize altogether. You still love me like You do. I keep running away from You, and getting myself into trouble. And You keep welcoming me back, when I find my way back to You. I find innovative ways of hurting and disappointing You, and You in all Your majestic love cast Your pain aside and tend to my wounds. My actions provoke Your righteous anger, but all You do is heal my broken heart.
How, do You do that? Love me like You do? No one could do that, no matter how much they may think they do. Every time You fix me up, I go and get myself broken again. And all You do is mend me with patience that I cannot comprehend. But that isn’t the only thing I can’t fathom. Why? Why do you love me like You do? And how can I ever repay You for all You’ve done for me?
Have you ever felt like you’re praying but your prayers just bounce off the roof and fall back? I’ve been there, multiple times. I pray and cry out to the Lord and all I hear in response is the sound of crickets in the distance. That last bit is probably in my head, you never know. But you know what I mean? When you feel so desperate to hear from the Lord and all you get is silence? When your heart longs for encouragement and you look around and there is nothing encouraging?
It is at times like these that I find it really easy to focus on the situation. Like I can do something about it without divine intervention. Oh, Lord isn’t answering, maybe I should go at it myself. Bad call. Of course I shouldn’t “go at it myself”. I mean, when have I ever succeeded at anything by myself? Without the Lord, I would never have accomplished anything (without messing up quite a bit). Then suddenly, the problem grows in my perception like a mountain and I feel overwhelmed and undersized. I realize I can’t “go at it myself” because this is far bigger a problem than I can handle. But God still isn’t answering, what should I do?!
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I learned very recently the solution to this sort of a situation. The Bible calls God by many names and phrases, one of those being “He who lives within you”. You’ve probably guessed the next bit already. If God is “He who lives within me”, then I must shift my focus from my surrounding and stop looking for answers around me. What I should be doing is take a deep breath and listen to my inner voice. The voice that is God’s and is within me. When I did that, I not only found peace that I wasn’t alone in this, but also found the solution or the steps to a solution.
God is a complex God. We will never be able to understand why we go through certain things and why we feel abandoned. But all I know is that God “never leaves nor forsakes” me. And all I need to do is trust Him, believe that He is Who He says He is and He will do all He says He will. Even in the silence, trust Him.
Do you ever think how minuscule you are? Like, in comparison to God’s greatness and majesty. I was reading this Psalm and introspecting and realized that I spend very little time thinking of how great He is, and so much time thinking how involved He is in my life. Reading passages of scripture like this leave me dumbfounded at the fact that I ask the God of all creation to make my bus come on time. Like, seriously. And that’s not even the craziest part! The craziest part is that He answers!
It is the world’s biggest paradox that the Creator and Ruler of all creation (think: magnitude, zoom out into the Milky Way and other galaxies) cares about me getting late to work (think: broken alarm, zoom in to my room at 7:05, where I wake up without an alarm because He woke me up).
The Psalmist so wonderfully put this question out there for us to realize the magnitude of this paradox: Who are we that you would think of us? Mere humans that you would care for us?
Just a reminder, in case you think He is God who sits at His throne judging you: HE CARES! He thinks about you! He feels your pain. His heart aches for you when you get hurt. His eyes are on you.
How is that possible? There are so many millions of people in the world, how can he care and think about every single one of us? Well, He is GOD. Bigger than our perception, bigger than we can imagine. So if it is possible for anyone to watch every single person on this planet, it is Him.
He is always there, by your side. Watching, caring for and loving you. And you know, what’s best about it? He is also GOD! So imagine being cared for and loved by an omniscient God! Wouldn’t you do anything to be on His side too?
Every time I watch this scene in The Amazing Spiderman, it cracks me up. Literally everything around him is falling apart and there Stan Lee is, unperturbed. Nodding along to the music he is listening to, oblivious to the battle waging a few feet from him.
Funnily enough, every time I think of the battles in our lives, I think of this scene. The only reason he wasn’t bothered by the devastation the battle had caused was because he wasn’t paying attention. Or more importantly, paying attention to something else.
When everything around you seems falling apart, we have two choices; focus on the world that is falling apart (devastation), or focus on the life-giving God that is working through it all (expectation). When we focus on devastation, we feel lost, confused, weary, abandoned, hopeless, grief. But when we focus on God with expectation, we feel loved, hopeful and peaceful.
Now, devastating situations do come in all forms in our lives, we need to choose what we’d like to be tuned into. Like Stan Lee, we can tune out the devastation and choose to remain peaceful under the circumstances. We need to tune in to God and listen to voice guiding us through the troubling times. We will feel blessed and encouraged and we can be a source of encouragement to others who are going through the devastation.
This Psalm speaks of loyalty and commitment. From both sides. It says, I will never pray to anyone but You and commits to going to Him with requests every morning.
What do you do first thing in the morning? To be completely honest, I am guilty of not going to the Lord first thing in the morning. The first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone for the time, but end up looking at all the notifications. Then I respond to the texts I missed. Then I crawl out of bed and freshen up, pour myself some tea and THEN spend time with the Lord. So how am I really prioritizing the Lord in my life? By the looks of it, He comes after everyone else on my notifications. It isn’t really fair to the One who saved my soul and I claim is the Lord of my life, is it?
Then it (the Psalm) goes on to talk about how the Lord has unfailing love towards us and how He protects us with His shield of love. Think about it, He doesn’t need a reason to love and protect us. He just does. Even if we’ve not put Him first in our priority list, every time we call Him, He is there. So clearly, it isn’t our deeds that make Him love us, but His grace. So instead of listening to our head and trying to make ourselves worthy of the grace and love (which is pointless, frankly), maybe we could work on our loyalty and commitment to Him? Maybe all He wants from us is that we put Him before all else?
They say, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”. But I say, “Desperate times call for desperate strides toward God”. The lonelier you feel, more distraught and helpless you feel, that’s the time you draw closer to Him rather than away from Him. Because if anyone can get you out of that situation, it’s God. If anyone can calm the storm in your life, it is God.
If I am completely honest, it is usually in times of need that I think of God the most. When everything is going fine, that’s when I tend to forget to look to Him. But recently there had been a situation when I was so upset that I refused to look to God. I didn’t blame Him, but I was upset with Him so chose to look away from Him. But even then, I felt Him by my side. Softly encouraging me, telling me it’s okay. I had His voice playing at the back of my mind while I wept into my pillow at night. And I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew He was there, allowing me to grieve. That’s the kind of God He is. He knows what we need and when we need it. And the best part? He has the ability to provide us with our needs.
So wait on Him. Count on Him. He will come through. In His time. Sleep in peace, knowing that the Lord will keep you safe.