April 29, 2019
Where’s a Frustrated Sister to Go?
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. (Psalm 52:8b)
Friend to Friend
I remember lining the hallways at West Hempfield Elementary School when we had severe weather drills. The teachers would have us sit side by side against the inner concrete walls, quiet sticks up, until the training exercise was complete.
Fire drills took us outside.
Severe weather drills, inside.
We knew which way to go based upon the type of drill.
Sadly, nowadays students don’t just have drills for fires and natural disasters, but also to prepare for evil attacks on humanity by humanity. We teach children how they should respond in the event of a shooter being on school grounds so they know the places to go to find protection and safety. My heart doesn’t even know how to process the angst of having to have such drills.
It’s hard to know what to do with feelings of frustration when it comes to the evil in this world.
In Psalm 52, David’s mad about evil.
But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6 The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
7 “See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
Stirred by a righteous anger over the arrogant and harmful actions of a non-believer. As he sifts through his frustrations, David points out that the evil guy (Doeg) did not make God his stronghold (v7 NIV)... his refuge (v7 ESV).
This stood out to me. One key fault David saw in the arrogant, evil man was that he didn’t turn to God, but relied on his own money and power.
I want to make God my stronghold and refuge, but have a tendency to do things on my own sometimes. I don’t ever want to be found in the camp of the arrogant. Instead, I want to be a woman who trusts in the steadfast love of God, gives Him thanks in all circumstances, and hopes in His name like the psalmist.
8 But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9 I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.
(Psalm 52:5-9, ESV)
The Hebrew word used for refuge here (v7) is ma òwz, which means a place or means of safety, protection or refuge.
Is God’s presence the place I go when I’m angry about evil or frustrated with the actions of other people?
If I’ve been hurt or offended, do I bend a knee in prayer or bend the ear of whoever’s closest in proximity?
Do I trust God with the outcome and give Him thanks for the opportunities to lean on Him through hard times?
I’m challenged to live differently than those who don’t know and trust in God.
The best choice is to take my anger directly to the Lord when evil stirs me up. God’s presence connects frazzled hearts to peace.
Everyday you and I face fire drills of frustration and we interact with people who don’t know or want to please Jesus. How will I respond to the sassy response from my teenager? Will the tone I use with my spouse or co-worker be honoring or sarcastic? Will I try to “fix things” or accomplish greatness on my own or in the strength of God. What will I do with the fears and discontent screaming in my heart after watching that cable news channel?
I want to have a godly plan of action that honors the Lord and loves others well when I’m stirred up. Don’t you?
While this will play out differently in every situation, I think a good starting point for all of us is to step into sacred chambers of holiness and turn to God as the stronghold and refuge we need.
Dear Lord, Injustice and evil are constant companions here on earth. Can’t wait for you to take care of all that! Until then, Lord, please teach me what it looks like to make You my stronghold and refuge. Draw me to Your presence and help me hash out my frustrations with You instead of with others. Stir my eyes to seek You constantly.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What source of frustrations is God nudging you to surrender to Him today? Who or what has you stirred up? What would trusting God with that/them look like? Tell me on the wall of my blogor on Instagram.
More from the Girlfriends
Friend! The GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcastwill meet you right in the middle of your frustrations and tensions. Hang out with Gwen and friends when you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?) Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more.
These discussions are going to encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HEREto listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologiefor more information.
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Originally published Monday, 29 April 2019.