How we Find God – Questions of a Seeker
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Many will recognize most of this story. There are times when after you think the final edit is done, God speaks to your spirit that it’s missing something crucial. This is one of those times. Our Father said I needed to dig deeper into my testimony.
Let’s face it. Life gets hectic. Many of us are juggling family, marriage, and having a career. I know people who need someone else’s help to find their car keys. How can any of us find time for God? Where do we find Him? When we make the time to do that, what does He want from us?
We hear that if we are still, God will be there. But what I see in people as I speak with them is how stressed they are that they aren’t making time with God. They feel like failures because they haven’t got the balance right between spending time with God as well as the other parts of their professional and private lives.
Mental health therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, counselors and coaches don’t have living a healthy life figured out perfectly. Their lives can go out of balance too. Life happens to all of us.
I asked a mental health counselor how she lives a balanced life. She said, “When you figure that one out, Kevin, please let me know.”
Relax. There is no perfect way to manage your life. When your child has a medical issue such as an asthma attack or your husband has a heart attack, your ordered existence, if there is such a thing, gets turned upside down. Meetings need to be rescheduled. Personal appointments such as if you had a doctor’s appointment, need to be rebooked.
To find God, we need to slow down from thinking we can go 80 miles per hour when He says, “Right now, you need to go at half that speed, until I say otherwise.” How many of us would say,”But, Lord, I can’t slow my life down that much. You’re asking way too much.
I offer this story from my life to show you how I was living my life out of balance.
When I was in my early 20s I was working full-time as a counselor and studying full-time towards getting my Bachelor of Theology degree, I tried living at 100 miles per hour. Throughout the week I also assisted my pastor with a inner city church plant. I did community outreach work for my church and the one I had been seconded to, for the growth of the church plant.
I was writing book reviews for our church. I received mentoring from my pastor for 10 to 15 hours a week for three years. I visited the sick in hospital and in their homes. I coordinated a junior church program. I trained and supervised assistant teenage and adult teachers for that program. I led worship services and preached sometimes. I led Bible studies.
I enjoyed everything I did. I was spending too much time, though, on the activities, and not enough on allowing God to order the priorities in my life.
I fell behind in my assignments. A professor challenged me with this question when I asked for an extension on one of them. “Are you trying to dig yourself into an early grave?” He was gracious in giving me more time. I didn’t listen to him like I should have. I kept making demands upon my body that it was screaming at me it couldn’t maintain.
I was living life way out of balance. God called me on it. He let me fall hard, but not as much as He could have. I got sick with a respiratory bug that kept me out of work and school for several weeks. I went into burnout.
The Lord was merciful. I recovered, but the lesson was clear. “Cut out some of your activities, Kevin. Who are you trying to prove your worth to?” God asks us the perfect questions because He also knows the perfect answers.
I was trying to show my father, Jim, who abused me from childhood to being a young adult, that I was good enough. I wasn’t a failure. I could take on multiple responsibilities and manage them all. I was denying the truth of the wounds that had penetrated my mind and spirit.
I was living an unsustainable life. This pattern of overdoing it, kept repeating itself, until I finally listened to God, and addressed the central issue. The haunting accusations of my father, Jim, were continuing after he had died in November 2005. It was time to let them go. Unfortunately, I kept pushing down the pain. It was consuming me. It was affecting all my relationships. I was viewing life through a lens that was killing me inside.
If I was to find God, I had to let go of the hate and let love in. That journey required years of counseling, because I had developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the abuse.
It was only when I learned to forgive my father and everyone who had put me down, that more of the peace of God appeared in my life.
God has used many people on this pathway to healing that helped me feel more of God in my life. One of them I would like to thank is Dr. Titus McMillan. He wears many hats as a psychologist, minister, marriage and family therapist and certified functional medicine health coach, (You can check him out here https://www.thelionkingmcmillan.com/). The hat he puts on we like the most is that he is a dear brother we have known for nine years.
Dr. Titus McMillan challenged me to call my father by his name, Jim. He said to me in one of our sessions, “Kevin, the man has a name.” He wasn’t the label my schizophrenic father. He was a flawed man who had done terribly hurtful things to my mother, June, and our family.
I shared that story to illustrate this point. If we don’t let go of the emotional baggage of our past, there isn’t the space in it that God wants to occupy. What’s the sense in taking that rotting garbage with you through life? It’s a toxin that will affect your physical and mental well-being. Let it go and let God in.
If you want to discover more of God, free yourself of the issues of your past and present, which will affect your future. How can you put energy into the areas of work God wants you if you remain stuck– if you hold on to the issues that will ruin your life? You will feel like a car running on gas fumes. How far will your vehicle go on that? Not very far.
If we wouldn’t run our car on empty, why do many of us do that with our lives? How can we have God’s presence in our lives if we’re constantly busy? We’re depriving ourselves of the very thing that would energize our spirits.
God loves you so much that He will let you crash to get your attention. I urge you not to do that. It’s a painful road back. Sadly, some go so far down they never fully get up again. The God who made you cares too much for that to happen.
Perhaps, the truth of one or more of these questions and thoughts resonates with your life.
Are you going through a rough time?
Do you feel that God doesn’t care?
You’ve prayed until you’re all prayed out.
You feel guilty for having doubt.
You’re losing or have lost the sense that God is in your life.
You ask yourself, Lord, why can’t I hear You when I pray?
Have you stopped listening to what I say?
I cry where no one can hear but You.
I’m in a fog I can’t find my way out of.
God might not change your circumstances, but He could alter the way you look at them..
This adjustment in your perspective can help get you through hard times, because you see God is with you through them.
When we have no strength left to carry on, God carries us with His supportive love.
You aren’t less of a person, less of a Christian because you have questions.
God gave us beautiful minds.
He expects us to use them.
Our questions can help us as we try to figure out what our faith is all about.
How can we help people through their questions about life if we don’t ask any?
I get what an unquestioning trust in God is all about.
The faith of these people shines no matter what they go through.
It’s so bright others can’t help be attracted by it.
We crave the inner peace they have.
People like this are rare.
When God leads you to them, I encourage you to learn from their testimony.
They can teach you what it means to follow God if you’re willing to be guided by them.
If you never get to where they are that’s okay.. We find God in our individual way.
Some hear God in music that speaks to their spirits. Others feel Him more as they pray.
Many hear Him speak through His Word in the Bible.
Maybe you find it difficult to know what to say when you pray.
You don’t need to be eloquent when you seek God. He wants us to come to Him with naked honesty.
When we reveal the parts of ourselves to God we NEVER want others to see, He treats this with gentleness.
He hears our heart cries for help.
God wants us to fall into His arms. He longs for us to believe that He’ll catch us before we fall too far.
He desires that we would come to Him with two open hands to feel and receive the inner healing of our emotions.
This morning I didn’t come to God with two open hands.
I did it more as I listened to His spirit speaking to me through spiritual music.
Karen and I are dealing with a personal situation that has us wondering why it’s happening.
The enemy of our souls is working hard to make us believe God won’t show us the way out, but here’s the truth.
God has been with us through every trial. Not once has He abandoned us.
There is nothing that God can’t bring you through.
If He could lead His one and only Son, Jesus, through His feeling of abandonment on the cross, helping us through our struggles is easy.
We all find God in our own way.
If you feel distant from God, there’s a way to get closer to Him.
Call out to the Father.
Allow yourself to be angry if that’s where you are.God wants us to be open with Him. That’s when He can develop us into who He wants us to be.
When we forgive ourselves and others it opens up a river of inner healing.
This is when we really find God.
Dr. Kevin Osborne is the Dean of Psychology and President of Student Affairs for St. James the Elder University. He is s therapist, writer, poet, and singer. He helps people in their inner healing journey. Dr. Kevin Osborne lives in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, with his wife, Karen. She is the Registrar for SJTEU. She is also a counsellor. Karen and Kevin are powned by their 20-year-old cat, Katherine, a.k.a. Her Royal Furriness, Princess Katherine of Timmins.
Posted on March 10, 2023, in circumstances and tagged abuse recovery, community outreach, emotional wellness, forgiveness, God, inspiraational, life balance, PTSD, seeker, testimony. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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