I was miserable and sick, tired and weary. Desperate for encouragement and mercy. I knew what I needed to do, exactly what I tell everyone to do when they are feeling this way. Go to the Lord and read his Word. I didn’t want to, I didn’t feel like it. But I grabbed my Bible anyway, hoping for something to sooth the dismal feelings rising within me.
I opened to a place I had marked from reading in the past. It was Isaiah. What great words of comfort did my God have for me this day? Here is some of what I read:
“Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.” Isaiah 5:25
Yes, thank you, Lord. That is exactly what I needed to hear at this very moment. Along with the “woes” pronounced in the verses previous to this one and warnings against alcohol consumption. So very refreshing and enlightening.
Come on, God! Is that what you are giving me in my time of distress, seriously? I wanted to cry (okay, so maybe I did a little). I wanted to lodge a complaint that this Christian thing should be easier. God is supposed to be there for me when I need him. He is supposed to make me feel better. He is supposed to help me.
The truth of my self-centered mentality smacked me in the face. I may have thought I was reaching out for God but I was only looking for myself in the pages of his book. Treating God and his Word like a gumball dispenser: I was hoping for red but got green and was upset. No instant comfort was granted to me.
I had to remind myself of some very important facts. First, the Bible is about God and not Jesicah Lehman. The same can be said for my own life - I walk it, but he authored it for himself (Psalm 139:16). I then made myself mentally list what I knew of God: he is good, he is loving, he is sovereign, he is just, he is present and he is strong. And he loves me and will keep me forever. I know this, not because of what I read that day (though it is still God’s Word and valuable truth); I know this because I have read it thousands of times, over and over in his Word before this moment ever came to be. That is what sustains me, his Word in me already.
So even if the scripture I read at that moment did not seem to comfort me, I still held to God. I reminded myself of the truths of who he is and who I am because of him. Did I feel better after all of that? Not really. But my feelings are not what matter. I am sure of who my God is and I fully trust him in every way. Even if what he gives me for the day is sickness and scripture that does not console.
Ladies, always go to God and his Word. What you read may not tickle your heart strings. You may read about corpses in the streets, but there is always blessing in reading God’s Word. The comfort you find may not be instant but for those who are his, it will certainly be eternal.