Our Secret Place
“Ultimately, God Is The Answer To Our Emptiness”
Have you ever just sat down, drained from the day and wondering why you didn’t skip that class to take a nap, and just think, “I am so tired. It hurts to think, to move, to do anything, but lay in this bed.” This is my current state right now. I am so incredibly exhausted from meetings, track meets, homework assignments and more meetings, that it seems like there’s nothing at all that can change the way I’m feeling.
And I’ve tried to distract myself by watching Netflix一it didn’t work.
I tried other stuff too: I tried sleeping for a really long time, it didn’t work. Apparently, naps don’t make everything better. I tried to act like I had enough energy to sit through my school’s basketball game, but that just made me more tired since I came home and crashed. And I tried talking to my friends, but it made me want to hide under my covers and just well..watch Netflix.
I, annoyingly, tend to become very anxious and worrisome about everything it seems. From homework assignments to not calling a friend back in a timely manner, to not being prepared for a meeting, the responsibilities of life tend to overwhelm me easier that I would like. Life becomes so consuming with all the tasks that I have at hand that I become panicked and overwhelmed. And instead of me using the time that I need to rest and spend time with God, I waste it making panicked to-do lists,but the worst part is that when its complete, I still feel like something missing and I already know what it is. And don’t ask my why I ignore those feelings; I think we all tend to do it sometimes, but it’s like I’m testing God in a way. I want to see if all those things that He said couldn’t give me joy will, instead of me having to run to Him, but I’m only hurting myself in the process. God isn’t trying to play games with me, He wants to be a Father to me, but I still want to play the role of His runaway bride.
And I know you know that feeling too! It’s like your soul is jumping around inside of you, unable to rest and feel at peace. And it is in times like these when I am always reminded by the Holy Spirit that the only place I can ever possibly find rest in is the place I’ve been running from: in God. But then I get upset when I notice how much I look to other things to fulfill me and make me feel better, when in reality the only thing I know that can give me the rest and assurance that my soul needs is to be in fellowship and intimacy with God, but it’s the last place I tend to go to when it should be the first.
His Word says:
“You shall have no other God’s before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on earth beneath…..you shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”
I’ve come to realize that all those things I put before God when I wanted to feel better, have become idols in my life. I rely on them to give my soul rest, to take my mind off of stress, and to keep me calm and able to do the things I need to do. I tell myself, “It’s only one episode of Grey’s Anatomy” or “I’ll just take a nap and then I’ll feel better and want to do work” or I call up my boyfriend or go waste hours having lunch with a friend trying to get my life resolved, but it’s all in vain because I still feel that same unrested feeling internally when I’m finished. And watching tv or talking to people aren’t bad things, but when I begin to rely on them so heavily before even thinking about going to God and casting my worries on Him, that’s when it became a problem. And it’s even worse because deep down I know they won’t fill me up or give me the full peace that God can. They just temporarily distract me from my problems, leaving me thinking that I’m okay, but deep down my soul and the Holy Spirit are pleading for me to seek our Father for true peace and rest in Him.
“As a deer pants for the following streams, so my soul pants for you O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God.”
Psalms 42: 1-2
God created us for Him: our mind, our body, and our souls. It isn’t just some temporary fix or a cool thing to tell your friend when they are going through something. No, our soul constantly longs to be in fellowship with Him because it’s the only way we can survive. He formed us and created a deeply sown relationship between Himself and His children, a relationship that nothing else can replace. And He did this because He knows that He is the only one who can truly identify with our needs and provide us with what we need to continue on in the midst of stressful times.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Whether it is comfort, wisdom, or a peace of mind, it is only by the Power of God that we come to receive these things. So I had to (and still need to everyday) discipline myself and thank God that the Holy Spirit convicts me and constantly reminds me that when I feel worried or overworked or just weak, I replace the time I spent watching shows and taking naps and using as my quiet time to pray and seek His Face. I need to go into my place with God and cast all my worries and woes on Him, not to other people or things.
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
And the most important thing about going in this quiet place with God is that He rewards us, with peace, wisdom, understanding and assurance and these are no small things. We need that quality time with our Father not only to gain strength and understanding but to also deepen our relationship with Him; it’s fun to spend time with God, We learn more about ourselves, what He’s like, powerful stories of encouragement, and sing our hearts desires to Him. And though we get rebuked often, He still seems to perfectly love us and correct at the same time. But in all, it’s with these gifts that we can go throughout our day leaning not on our own strength but strength from the Holy Spirit. God withholds no good thing from us and whether you are praying, singing, or just sitting in silence with Him, that is the time we can access the blessings of God that overwhelm us with His love.
So put don’t press on the “play next” button of that Netflix episode and don’t scroll down your Instagram or Twitter app for hour; there’s nothing new there for you! I encourage you to just turn everything off and take some time to be with God in your secret place. It’s worth the missing all that, I promise!