Have you ever wanted to run away? Or, hide yourself from your friends and even from God? Me too. But what I learned is that is the wrong question. The better question is to ask: Who are you running to? Even Hagar in the Bible tried to run away into the wilderness but she wasn’t able to run away from God. He met her right where she was.
Have you ever felt like running away?
Playing hide-n-seek but not being found for a while?
Have you ever been with friends, but not shared your heart, hoping your brokenness would stay hidden from view? Hoping maybe if you ignored it, it would go away, or maybe at least not hurt so bad?
Maybe, you’ve even tried to hide from God…hide your hurts, hide your hopes, even hide your mistakes.
I’ve wrestled with all of the above.
I recently half-jokingly sent a text message to a friend that said, “I wanted to run away, but this is as far as I could get on foot,” then attached a photo of a nearby pond with a fountain. I wasn’t literally trying to run away in the truest sense of the word, but my soul needed a change. I needed to go someplace where I felt “safe” to feel the pain inside without having to talk about it, justify it, defend it, or have anyone try to fix it.
I knew I wouldn’t get far…I toted a mini lawn chair on one shoulder with my huge insulated mug in that hand and a tote bag with my computer, journal, Bible, my latest read, and assortment of pens and highlighters on the other arm. I’m sure it was quite the sight to any neighbors who drove by! I just needed a few moments of quiet to regain perspective.
Can I be honest with you? I was alone and it was a quiet place other than the faint sound of the fountain in the distance, but my heart and my mind were not at rest.
Rest is hard for me. Aside from sleeping, allowing my soul to be at rest is hard for me to grasp, much less do. As I explored that with God in the still of the morning, I’ve realized that rest, particularly resting in Him, requires trust.
Can I trust that my household will still run smooth enough while I take a few moments to replenish myself?
Can I trust that if I take a few moments each day or each week to set aside the worries and tasks that scream for my attention, that there will be enough time to manage the priorities when I redirect my attention back to them?
Can I trust that even when I do not see God moving, that He is working His good and perfect plan in my life and in my current situation?
Can I trust that God sees me, cares for me, won’t abandon me, and wants to heal the brokenness within me that no one else sees or knows about?
Why should we run to God?
On this particular day, in my pursuit of “running away,” I felt very much like Hagar from the Old Testament. After being mistreated by Sarai and then being beaten and broken in spirit, Hagar ran away to the wilderness. Yet even in her attempts to run away, God met her there. It was in her wilderness moments that God spoke through an angel and told her to name her son Ishmael, which means “God hears” because God had heard her woes.
“So she called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I not even here in the wilderness looked upon Him Who sees me and lived? Or have I here also seen the future purposes or designs of Him Who sees me? Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi. A well to the Living One Who sees me” (Genesis 16:13-14 AMP).
So back to my original question. Have you ever felt like running away?
In my attempts in the past to “run away,” I even tried to run away from God. Sometimes my attempts were pretty bold when perhaps my church attendance became spotty, or my quiet times less consistent. Other times my attempts were more subtle, not fully sharing the depth of my pain with Him in prayer.
We can never run away from God
Yet just as Hagar learned, I also learned: we can never run away from God. He loves us too much, and He follows us to the depths of the earth and the depths of our despair.
“Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
No matter what prompted my heart’s desire to run, and no matter what circumstance you find yourself in now, we must choose to trust the truth of His word. He promises to be with us, to save us, to delight in us, to love us, and to rejoice over us. “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
So now upon reflection, maybe the question shouldn’t be have you ever felt like running away, but rather, who are you running to?
Instead of running away, will you run into His arms today?
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
Hope Prevails and the Hope Prevails Bible Study are must-reads for anyone suffering from depression or knows someone suffering from depression.
“Nowhere else have I found an author speak to the difficulty of depression with this level of specific explanation, insight, and hope. In Hope Prevails, Dr. Michelle Bengtson unfolds a deeply personal narrative that speaks both to cause and antidote. She balances the truths of depression with a chord of hope, tethering us to both the love and power of God. On those days you’re tired and weary and feel like you just can’t keep going, this book is like having a girlfriend right there with you. A girlfriend who just happens to be a trained and certified mental health professional who relies on scripture to equip you with the tools you need to overcome.” ~ Jo Ann Fore, Author of the award-winning When A Woman Finds Her Voice
Thank you Michelle! Once again, God speaks through you.
There’s nothing better than being a timely conduit of His love, Debbie. Blessings to you. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
What a good word, Michelle!
I found your post today on Soul Survivor.
Hope you have a blessed Monday~
Thank you Melanie! #HopePrevails!
Thank you so much, Michelle!!
It’s always my joy Sue! So glad you stopped by! I hope you’ll join me for the series on trust in October. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I am familiar with the questions of trust (“Can I trust…”) that you talked about here. I have found that these questions of trust become the basis of a faith response as we take the time to step away from the busy demands of life and give ourselves the opportunity to connect with God. I am learning that my faith/relationship with God needs this – my soul and spirit need this.
Diane, even Jesus used questions to make us assess our lives and what we believe. Sometimes questions are much more effective than a list of “you should’s” and “thou shall nots”. They make me honestly assess where I am in my walk with Him. Blessings to you!
Love this Michelle and need to hear it this morning.
So glad! Blessings!
What a blessingto hear these beautiful words of encouragement from a soul laid bare! Thank you Dr. B
Thank you for your sweet encouragement Lisa! I hope we see you here at Hope Prevails again soon! Blessings!
Thank you for sharing this, rest is something the Lord has been challenging me on for quite awhile.
This is so true and honest. Sometimes I wanna go sabbatical from everyone. We can run and hide though but we can never escape God. He meets us where we are indeed.
Thank you for sharing this – and encouraging us that it’s Ok to need some quiet and rest. I remember ‘running away’ when my kids were very young (my husband was home with them) – didn’t go far, just drove around the block, then parked at the end of the street and took a mini-nap in my car. I was in desperate need of quiet and rest. Now, I’m finding better ways to incorporate rest and time with God into my week, so I don’t feel so desperate. A little time in His arms is usually just what I need.
Oh yes! That’s me. I spent years running away from God because I felt stuck and helpless in a situation. I love how you changed up the question – and I’m relieved that this is the direction I’ve since accepted – running directly to Him! Blessings!
So glad you shared this, Michelle. It’s encouraging to know we all get to the point where we need a little quiet. May we be certain we run to Him during those times as He alone is the One who can restore our souls. Blessings!
Sweet friend, how timely this post was. I am there right now…I simply want to hide from some things or in a sense, run away from them. I will be taking a break from my blog and all things blog-related in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to the time of just being still and resting.
Thank you for this wonderful post and for sharing it with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!
Thanks for this encouraging post. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – hope to see you again next week!
I’ve wanted to run away….during the unhappiest times of my life. I thank God I don’t feel that way anymore! Thanks for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!
Hagar and God meeting her at the well is one of my absolute favorite stories. I love that God doesn’t let us get away. Visiting from #JoyHopeLive thanks for linking up every week.
I am running to His arms today. 🙂
There’s no better place to run Melissa! I’m not far behind you. Good thing He has room in His arms for both of us! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thank you, Dr. Michelle; this is so relatable and yet so filled with hope.