Have you ever felt like things simply were not going your way in life? Like you seem to be failing in every aspect? Your health is deteriorating, your work is suffering, your relationships are hanging by a thread, and you are falling behind in your school work.
I remember a time when I felt like this. Senior year of college I struggled in all of these areas to the point where it seemed like I just was not really succeeding in anything. I was just getting by. I wasn’t doing as well in school as I was accustomed to, my relationships with friends and significant others were strained, I was working two jobs (one of which my boss was probably certified bipolar/schizophrenic), and I had constant headaches and stomachaches. I didn’t know it at the time, but things that I formerly depended on (and sometimes hid behind) were being stripped away from me. I also didn’t know it at the time, but I needed something that would make me feel like the struggle was worth it, and I wasn’t finding it in the things that I attempted to help raise my spirits.
Today’s reading reminded me of this and helped me shed some light on one reason why I may have struggled to so much. Hosea 4:6, 7 says: “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me…They have exchanged the glory of God for the shame of idols.”
I think that things had become increasingly difficult for me because I didn’t KNOW God. I knew of him. I prayed to him when I needed a good grade on a test or when I was out at night in a tight dress and a scary man was walking by, but I didn’t KNOW him. I didn’t take the time to have conversations with him (yes we can converse with God) or read the Bible so that I could learn of him. I had exchanged the desire that I had to read God’s word as a kid bible quizzer, for “the shame of idols.” Idols like partying, fornication and covetousness.
Now that I have made more of an effort to live righteously and seek after God, I have seen glimpses of his glory over and over again. While I can’t say that his glory is always apparent, I always succeed in what I do, and I feel the presence of God every minute of every day, I can say that I feel that I have returned to his glory. As I get to know God, I feel far more at ease than I was senior year because I know that in hard times I can place my trust and insecurities in the hands of God and he will see me through.
I am sure that you are struggling with something that has become an “idol” in your life, and I know it’s not easy to turn away from something like that because you become so devoted to your idols. The definition of “idol” is: a representation or symbol of an object of worship; a false god/a likeness of something/an impostor/a form or appearance visible but without substance/ an object of extreme devotion/a false conception. But as Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Finding God can help you deal with all of your problems.
Merciful Mondays: Jael
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31