Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recognizing the Need

Today's run was hard. Yesterday felt so easy, natural, and effortless compared to today. I even found myself praying with more difficulty: "God, I just don't feel very good today... help me feel better."

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But that prayer struck me and I started reflecting on it. Why was I less enthusiastic for God's strength and guidance today, the day I needed it most? After some more thought, I realized that I had come before God and my needs replaced Him. "Wow, how often have I let this happen?" I thought to myself. The need itself is natural - God-created, even. We desire for things to be right because deep down inside we know this world is not the way it's supposed to be, not the way God intended it to be.

When we have physical ailments, we want to be healed. When we've been wronged, we want justice. When we've been hurt by someone else, we want to be happy again. When we've lost a job or are struggling financially, we want to be secure. When we're mourning the loss of a loved one, we want to be reunited.

All of these are part of life. The problem is not that we have these needs; it's when we don't accurately recognize where to go for those needs to be met. Sure, doctors and lawyers, therapists and advisors can be helpful. But if we seek them first, they become the ends rather than the means to an end. They can easily let us down if they are unable to help us. Worse yet, there's no room for God in this equation other than a genie in a bottle we call on for a wish to be granted.

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Instead, first and foremost, we must recognize that our needs is for God Himself. He is our refuge (Psalm 46:1) and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). He is the Source of Life (John 11:25-26). In Him and through Him are all things (John 1:3). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Above all else, we must seek God. When we find Him, then (and only then) will He lead us to still waters and give us rest (Psalm 23:1-6). The desire of our hearts is for God - the Healer (Mark 5:1-43), the Righteous Judge (Zephaniah 3:5), the Comforter (John 14:26), Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), and Life Giver (1 Timothy 6:13). He has overcome death to give us life, and His promises are trustworthy. When we put our faith in Him, He will not let us down. We may not experience the kind of outcome we long for right away, or even in this life, but if we continue to trust and follow Him, in the end His Word will be the last Word (Mark 13:31).

I'm still tired after my run and my legs are still sore. But I'm turning my heart to God, for in my weakness He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

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