I’m currently reading through Ezekiel, a very interesting Old Testament book that’s been speaking volumes to me and challenging me on several things I thought I understood about God and His character.
Today, I stumbled across this passage that, though seemingly insignificant, truly does explain a few things about my life and could perhaps relate to yours as well.
Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, ‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.” Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and he told me to say: “This is what the Lord says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead. (Ezekiel 11:1-6)
What’s happening here is that God is speaking to Ezekiel and revealing to him what is happening among the Israelites. Apparently, there are a few leaders who didn’t quite get the memo that God is angry with them and is planning on doing something about it. Their captivity is right around the corner yet these men are reassuring the Israelites that everything will be fine. “Our houses have just been rebuilt!” they say. What they fail to see is that just because life has the appearance of being fine doesn’t mean it really is. And boy, did that resonate with me.
You see, lately my life has been consisting of stressor after stressor, whether it involves school, my future plans, keeping up with everyone in my life, or just trying to find time to relax and be alone. The easy lie to believe is the same lie that most people believe: as long as I get all of my stuff together, it will all be fine.
But the problem with life is that you can’t “get everything together”. Once you figure out one thing and resolve one issue, more arise! You know the saying, “when one door closes, another opens?” Same thing. It’s a constant battle of worry, trials, and fear.
Like those men boasting of their rebuilt houses and convincing the Israelites everything was fine, we often base our judgment on how well our lives are going by how well-built things appear. Just got a new job? Nothing can bring you down. Found a new significant other? Everything will be perfect from here. You just had an amazing latte from Starbucks and have the best friends in the world? What could possibly go wrong?
The reality is that things do happen. Deadlines come way too fast, friends drift in and out of your life, parents get mad, your girlfriend or boyfriend says the wrong thing, classes are difficult, and stress somehow finds you EVERYWHERE. So what do you do?
You let God be the one to tell you how things are.
The One who spoke life into existence speaks truth into our lives that we often do not hear because of the rest of the chaos we’re allowing to get in. What might happen if we stop looking at how things appear to be going and ask God how He sees our “things”?
God, why is it impossible for me to pass this class? Why have you not brought someone into my life yet? How long must I endure this? Sometimes those questions need to be asked. Only He knows the answers.
And maybe things have been going great in your life and everything has been falling into place perfectly. That’s great! Even so, are your eyes on God or on your circumstances?
The story of the Samaritan woman at the well has spoken to me so many times. One of the first times I read it I realized that I was like that woman, except instead of hoarding husbands, I was hoarding answers. I was hoarding solutions and fixes to all the problems and chaos in my life when really it was just Jesus I needed all along. I can say that things are fine or that things will be fine once this happens or that happens, but things shouldn’t be just fine. Jesus says that He is the Living Water, the beautiful and blissful drink that quenches our undying thirst.
When we start trusting in that and letting Him be our solution, things are better than fine. Life becomes SATISFYING. Joy is found around every corner- not because our circumstances are changing but because of who He is!
So this is me, confessing that I’ve been looking for far too long at the problems and not enough at the Giver of all-satisfying peace. What He’s been trying to tell me is that He’s all I need. I can trust in Him for refuge, for strength, for peace.
What has He been trying to tell you?