Henry, a resident of a nursing home, leaves his room one afternoon and slowly walks to the main office. When he arrives, he tries turning the knob but realizes it’s locked. He looks at the window and sees the crooked “Closed” sign and gets perturbed. But he sees something taped to the door. He pulls out his wire-rimmed spectacles and moves closer to a yellow piece of paper. “It’s a listing of all the occupants,” he says. He keeps reading until he finds his name. Then he slowly backs away, utters an expletive, and says, “I’m still here!”
Who hasn’t wanted to be somewhere else? A new boss that makes you hate the job you’ve performed for years. A virus that still keeps you hostage at home. A spouse that refuses to change. Whether I visit Facebook, or Instagram, or sit down to watch TV, I keep seeing and hearing a resounding message: “Be present in the moment.”
Although I may get a text from my wife stating she is on the way home from work, or from visiting her parents etc. she still says, “I’m home!” when she enters our house. I do the same thing to her. But are we really “present”? Maybe in body, but our mind is prone to drift off to elsewhere, wherever that is.
The hard thing about being a sensitive person, like myself, is the tendency to be so in the moment that I feel too much. Then that creates a problem. As a man of struggling faith, those feelings can lead me to doubt that God is “present” in the dark moments I’m experiencing.
So, what do you do when you’re not in denial (about a particular situation), but you don’t know how to handle the vibes you sense as you live in the moment?
Singer Carrie Underwood answered that question when she sat down with CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Tracy Smith. Underwood explained what it was like to experience three miscarriages from 2017 to 2018. “I told God how I felt and I feel like we are supposed to do that.” She said she told Him, “Why on earth do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid? Shut the door or let me have a kid.”
So many folks are afraid to be brutally honest with God. They keep the cards that life dealt them close to the chest as some sort of protection. But that defense doesn’t protect them or anyone from depression that finds its way inside.
There is really just one solution. Philip Yancey writes, “As the recovery movement teaches, naked honesty and helplessness are what drive us to God. The truth, about ourselves and about our need for outside help, sets us free. We don’t need to pretend that things are fine or that goodness comes easily. We admit we are needy and look to God for both vision and strength to subvert the world.” (Vanishing Grace)
David also offers help. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, NIV, emphasis mine)
Why not put that short verse in your memory bank? There is no time like the present.
pictures courtesy of pexels.com
Click below to watch “Help is on the Way”, performed by TobyMac.