Where Do You Run?

Where do you run?

“O my people, trust in Him at all times.  Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)

When life overwhelms you, where do you run?  What holds you up in a crisis?  Do you escape to the television, to your handheld screen, to social-media, or to a substance?  When a trial becomes more than you can bear, where to you go?  Who holds your heart?

As the writer of Psalm 62 encourages us, trust in the Lord in every circumstance.  Before you air out your troubles to the world on social-media, pour out your heart to God.  Run to Him as your primary (and only true) refuge.

Does your distress drive you further from God or draw you closer to Him?  Run to the Lord – every time.

God had a ministry mission for Jonah, which quickly became a crisis to him.  Jonah ran away from God until the Lord got his attention with a whale-a-gram.  God put Jonah inside the big fish so that God could work on the inside of Jonah.  God will often relentlessly pursue us until we pursue Him and run back into His loving arms.

After the 2003 Kansas flash-flood that consumed the lives of my wife and all four children, I thankfully made the no-regrets choice to run into His loving arms.  Only the Comforter – the Holy Spirit – can provide peace at a time like that.

After Job’s ten children died and his business collapsed, he demonstrated where to run.

“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’  In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:20-22)

If ever a supreme example existed for us to follow, it is Job’s response to tragedy.  He was my inspiration in 2003, and his example still challenges me today – amidst multiple global pandemics (health, political, cultural, etc.).

The Psalms are full of people who ran to the Lord in their troubles.

“O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out to You by day.  I come to you at night.  Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry.  For my life is full of troubles, and death draws near.  O LORD, I cry out to You.  I will keep on pleading day by day.” (Psalm 88:1-3,13)

Can you relate to the psalmist, crying out to God amid struggles?  If so, then pray to God in the daytime, at nighttime, in good times, and in bad times.  Keep on praying and don’t stop.  Keep reading Scriptures that encourage you.  As Saint Jerome – one of the Church’s great biblical scholars – wrote, “The reading of Holy Scriptures should follow upon prayer, and prayer in turn should follow reading.”

In other words, keep praying to God and keep reading your Bible, one after the other.  Stay in the Presence of Almighty God.  Stay connected to Him.

I composed a song in 2005, a few years after my family died, entitled “I Will Run to You”.  Here is a brief excerpt:

When I don’t have the strength to take another step

When I don’t have the voice to say another prayer

When my spirit is still willing to believe

But my flesh is so weak, oh Lord

 

I will run to You – You are my refuge

I will hide in You – in the palm of Your hand

I will cry to You – my tears on Your shoulder

You are my fortress – of peace and solitude

When I need to run – I’ll run to You.

 

Be encouraged that “Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me… You reach out your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me.  The LORD will work out His plans for my life — for Your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.  Don’t abandon me, for You made me.” (Psalm 138:7-8)

God will work out your situation for His glory, for your good, and to help edify others.  As His work gradually unfolds in your life, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Since August 2003, I have not stopped believing.  My faith in Jesus has not wavered.

God has used my great test as a mighty testimony to His redeeming power.  Many people have witnessed the goodness of God through our family’s story since then.  At least 300,000 people have personally encountered the Gospel as I’ve freely shared over 1,312 times since 2003 – all by invitation.  Although my testimony has cost me everything, I still charge NOTHING(No agent. No “fees”. Pure God.)

I received this encouraging response recently on Facebook.  All glory be to God.

“You are an inspiration to so many.  I look forward to hearing you speak again someday.  Truly an amazing life-altering event of what you experienced, as well as how it touches the hearts of those that hear you share it.” (Facebook post – August 30, 2020)