"The young lions suffer want and hunger: but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." Psalm 34:10
I have been having the most difficult struggle with being away from my friends and loved ones. But I finally realized today that it is good for me to be here in this season. Of most importance right now, I have been able to learn to focus on the immediate task. Because the only distractions here in New Orleans for me are my raging thoughts. One thought will have me listening to a song while I am attempting to study and that will lead me to run off and do something else completely unrelated, with me accomplishing nothing or my overall productivity greatly diminished. I have learned to step outside of my comfortable walls and go to a coffee shop so that all the distractions around me somehow quiet my mind so that I am able to get work done.
So, I read this scripture today. I have been reading the 34th Psalm almost daily as a part of this devotion I signed up for. And today as I read it during a work break, this scripture stood out to me as another popped into my head. Then I asked myself, if I am seeking God, and He withholds no good thing from me, maybe it is not good for me to be close to my family and friends right now. And that thought brought tears to my eyes as I would want nothing greater than to be close to home. Today I thought of that as I talked to my brother and my niece. She’s talking, still gibberish but its getting clearer. As my brother told me about her, my heart became heavy because I want nothing more than to spend time with her and be closer to my family. Even this year will be the first year that I will not be going home for Thanksgiving. I’m 28 years old and this will be my first time away from home and my loved ones on Thanksgiving. I asked God what was the purpose in all of this, why I am I being isolated like this. So I assume this scripture was the result of that prayer.
Sometimes, we go through periods of isolation. It is often during these periods of isolation that we go through our greatest spiritual growth spurts. I went through one last year, but this one is even harder because I honestly hate being here. I recognize there are a lot of ways about me that still need to be cleaned up, and I think at this point, maybe I have been running away from the things God wants me to do for too long now.
This even made me think about the things I want really bad…like to move back to Atlanta and to get married! I can no longer deny the fact that Mother Nature and her clock has me desiring to have a family of my own…but all I have is Parker. lol. This scripture made me think of this too, and maybe what I want is not good for me, well at least right now. Then I thought a little deeper, have my pursuits of these things, like moving closer to home and applying for jobs, spending time with friends and family, and even desiring to get married (mainly unsuccessful dating attempts since I have been here) kept me from seeking God? Because maybe it is me, my thoughts and the actions that result from them that are keeping me from having what I want. The things I want are good things…but if I meditate and focus on them too much, they can become idols which of course will serve to sever my bond with God. I wouldn’t seek Him as diligently in prayer, I would be neglecting Him.
So this sometimes happens to us in life, God seemingly strips away all those things of value to us, to get us to Himself, so that we can put things in proper perspective. I’ve been going back and forth about being here in New Orleans. I really want to leave, but I do now realize that being here is good for something…for me to draw closer to God and seek Him ever more intently. Maybe the source of the storm has been within me all along…holding on to those things that remind me of who I used to be instead of accepting who I am becoming. In doing that, I have been resisting being here this second year so far, wanting to leave to go back to what was old and comfortable. The truth is, I seriously contemplated transferring from Clark to Clemson…but staying in Atlanta and yielding to God was one of the best decisions I ever made. Perhaps it is God’s will for me to stick it out till I graduate from law school, maybe it isn’t. At any rate, I will seek Him more, so that when I am released from here (prayerfully soon), those things I currently lack will be exactly as He wants them to be when its time for me to receive them.
Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you. Job 22:21