Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar. | Psalm 138:6
To what do you automatically run when disaster strikes? What about when someone makes a hurtful or confusing comment? When you don’t know what to do next in life?
Some people go to food for comfort, some to friends or working out. An ever popular go-to is binge-watching television or spending countless hours on social media. Psychologists would call these things coping mechanisms: tools used temporarily to help a person work through and/or deal with a troublesome situation. But coping mechanisms only help on a very superficial level.
What we need is something much deeper and lasting.
We need to lean into God.
I see many in my generation struggling to cope with the pressures of every day life or with what their purpose truly is. They’re restless, searching, upset at the patterns of growing up around them, yet at the same time, longing for that normalcy as well.
If you are in this spot, you may consider yourself to be very lowly. Good news: the verse at the beginning of the post says that this is a great place to start. God wants you to know Him more in times and seasons when you have no answers.
This means choosing to lean into Him, His promises, and that which is constant, rather than the changing tide of people’s opinions.
Instead of going to a new coping mechanism or taking another Facebook quiz to find out what you’ll be doing in 10 years, go to the One who truly knows your heart.
Surprisingly enough, Adam and Eve had this same sort of restlessness and desire for more. God made things pretty clear to the two of them:
either know Him more and enjoy a daily,
close walk with God, or choose everything else.
They could know God more or know other things more (See Genesis 2:15-3:13 for the rest of the story). We know how the story goes. They chose everything else.
When faced with tough life decisions and circumstances, we can choose to know God more or to know other things. Having a relationship with the Lord Jesus is, after all, about knowing Him more:
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. | John 17:3
So down to the nitty gritty: leaning into God in my life means leaning into the situations that He places me in. It means allowing things to look and feel…well, horrible for a while.
Trying to escape suffering and find something tangible but temporary to comfort me is not restful. I am truly only at rest when I set the earphones/phone/distractions down and quiet myself before the Lord. Those times have become some of the sweetest to me, as I get to know and experience Christ more by fellowshipping in His sufferings.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…that I may know [experience] Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. | Philippians 3:7-8, 10
In the midst of sorrow and loss is a beautiful place to be, as it reminds you that all else is trash compared to Christ. And when we lean into the person and character of our Lord in and through sufferings, we get to experience Him more as a result.
My one and only way to cope with anything at all
is to lean on the Lord Jesus.
He is far better than anything else and He is inviting us to lean on His breast and learn of Him. By rejecting hard times and trying to comfort ourselves with a temporary fix, we are missing out on knowing The Lord Jesus more! What a great tragedy!
Lean into God, my friends. He is waiting to hear your heart and for you to know Him more.