I balanced my feverish, crying 10-month old on my hip and tried to block out the noise of my 2- and 3-year-old children who were clamoring for my attention. It had a been a long week with six days of a high fever and no clue as to how much longer this would last.
I was stretched thin. I was worn out.
I was going to lose it.
As my emotions started to kick in, I knew I needed help beyond my control. “God, please help me!” I prayed.
I wanted out. I wanted this fever to go away. I was so tired of caring for little people.
Focusing on my circumstances was not going to be a good solution.
I knew that.
Especially since I had just read an article earlier about how to focus on scripture when I felt weak or overwhelmed. So, ever so dutifully, I ignored the persistent questioning of my preschoolers and spoke above the cries of my infant while firmly quoting Psalm 23 out loud and marching around the house with the fervor of a saint. I felt my soul quiet momentarily but then as I heard the crying and needs continue on around me (despite my prayers and use of scripture) the overwhelming exhaustion and emotions took control.
Suddenly I was angry with God. I had tried to turn to Him but my soul hadn’t found the rest I was hoping for. Wasn’t He supposed to bring rest? It felt like He hadn’t answered my prayer. It felt like He hadn’t been there to help me. I was confused and, to be honest, I felt abandoned by God.
Over the next day I kind of avoided God. I didn’t want to spend time with Him or talk about Him. My faith felt weak. How could something so simple shatter my trust in God?
The answer? Wrong theology. That’s how. And I had a bad case of it.
Twenty-four hours later, my husband took our still feverish baby for a bit and I sat down with my notebook and Bible. I began to write out my fears, putting them under the label of wrong theology. It looked something like this:
#1- God wasn’t there.
#2- God didn’t help to take the struggle away.
#3- God didn’t answer the way I wanted.
#4- God didn’t calm my soul.
Then I started looking up scripture to challenge these thoughts and correct my wrong theology.
#1- God was there. I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb. 13:5)
#2- God never promises to take the struggle away. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor. 12:8-10)
#3- God doesn’t have to do things my way. His thoughts and plans are bigger than mine. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Is. 55:9)
#4- It’s MY job to quiet my soul by continuously speaking truth to it. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Ps. 43:5)
My wrong theology had told me that if I went to God and desperately demanded for Him to quiet my soul, while also quoting random scripture, He would do so! I believed that if I did the magic formula the struggle would dissolve; He would either change my circumstances instantly or immediately change my emotions. Taking the time to dig into scripture finally helped me to see that seeking to trust in God doesn’t always mean that my soul and emotions will automatically be on board. I had wanted to be a super-christian, but God wanted me to keep on coming to Him.
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has said “Anything that makes me need God is a blessing. We want to be confident, strong and capable. God wants us to be needing and dependent.”
And so, I must continue to take my troubled soul to God and His Word even when the road doesn’t get easier and His ways don’t seem to make sense. Will I trust Him when the storm continues to rage or will I, like Peter, be told “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31).