Running to God
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Right now, we are living in a confusing time. I will say upfront; this virus scare has not seriously changed my life. For some, it has. You may think I'm not the right person to be writing about how you are to respond. But I hope you will read on anyway and give me a chance because I have had experience in the past with significant depression, fear, and anxiety. I did not respond well, and here's why.
I did not really know God. I didn't have confidence in Him nor trust Him; I didn't even know how to know Him. My head was filled with knowledge about Him, but knowing about someone isn't the same as knowing them. So when the day of trouble came, I collapsed under the weight of it. Psalm 50:15 says we are to call on God in the day of trouble and He will deliver us. Instead, I let my emotions take over and rule. It's natural to do what I did, but as a believer, and one who wants to boast in the Lord (2 Cor 10:17), I have to truly have confidence in His ability no matter what.
Over the years, I have seen God transform me. I have gained confidence in His ability to rescue, protect, and provide. But in myself, I am weak, and I know it. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." I admit it...I run to this strong tower often. I go there to gain rest, wisdom, strength, or a different perspective than what comes naturally to me...fear, anger, anxiety. Sometimes I go in confused, weary, angry, or afraid, but I leave with peace, a better understanding, and hope. I am learning that God gives me what I need not only so I will feel better, but because He wants to use me in some way. Some have called Christianity or God a crutch, but what is wrong with needing help? I like how Dr. Ralph F. Wilson puts it:
The truth is, we do need a Protector, we do need a Hiding Place, we do need a Refuge in time of trouble. Because we trust God for our protection does not mean that we are weak. When we do trust in God we become all the stronger. Though we may take a breather in our Hiding Place, we do not retreat from society. We face it knowing that our Defender is with us. No, Christians are not weak, they are strong. They are humans who recognize their inherent weakness and find strength that God intended in God himself.
Paul said he took pleasure in his weakness for "When I am weak, then I am strong." When we admit we are weak and run to God, who is strong, His power is able to work through us. I run to God when I need for Him to be:
My Protector--The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Psalm 18:2 (NLT)
My Redeemer--Our Redeemer, whose name is the Lord of Heaven's Armies, is the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 47:4 (NLT)
My Healer--If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
My Peace--You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
My Shepherd--The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 (ESV)
My Almighty God--Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)
My Banner--But you have raised a banner for those who fear you— a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. Psalm 60:4-5 (NLT)
My Provider--And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 9(NIV)
God is everything you need. But He doesn't want you to run to Him and hide out for the long haul (been there). Or to gain strength only to lose it right away so that you are simply running back and forth always looking for more, and never changing or accomplishing anything for the kingdom (been there too). The goal isn't to be proud of how strong God makes you. When you run to God, He gives you what you need, so you will take the next step, whatever that is for you. Sometimes it is so you can just move forward in trust, and sometimes He wants you to run to Him, receive what He promises, and then let Him work through you to reach others with the same comfort you yourself have received (2 Cor 1:4).
So, by all means, run to God during this time of uncertainty. Go there as often as you need to, but don't forget that He gives you what you need so you will have something to give to others, even if it's just a quiet and peaceful spirit!