It’s a blessing to have friends to help out when your own load is a little too heavy. And it’s an extra-special blessing when those friends are firmly planted in God’s Word and able to share His timeless wisdom and life-giving encouragement. Barefoot Hippie Girl is one of those friends, and I’m honored to share her words with you once again.
Last week, on Facebook, I kind of bragged that I had most of my own posts written already for the upcoming week. And Elizabeth asked me if I wanted to write a post for her. It took me all of about 2 seconds to say yes. Then I wondered just what I was going to write about.
But, I prayed about it, and God laid the topic on my heart that I have been studying for our VBS this year.
Do you have any idea of how many men and women ran away from home in the Bible? I didn’t. Not until my husband brought it up earlier this spring.
There’s Moses, who ran away from Egypt, after he killed an Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
And David, that courageous youngin’ who killed Goliath. Well, he ran away several times in his life. He spent 13 years running from Saul. And then, in his final years, he ran away from his palace and throne when his son Absalom started an uprising.
How about Hagar, the slave girl, and pawn of Abraham and Sarah? Sleeps with Abraham, gets pregnant. Taunts Sarah and gets mistreated. Runs away.
We see Jacob running away when his lies and manipulation provoked murderous rage in his brother.
Elijah ran away after a tremendous spiritual victory. He plunged into the depths of despair, and ran for 40 days. Wow! Personally, I think my despair would cause me to hole up in bed for 40 days-not run for 40 days.
Or Jonah. We all know about him. God told him to preach to his enemies, the people of Nineveh. Jonah didn’t like that plan. In disobedience, he ran away from God. His plan was to head across the Mediterranean Sea, as far from God as he could get. That got him swallowed by a whale. Really effective.
The armies of Israel ran away from the tiny town of Ai. They ran away in defeat.
Cain ran away from the presence of God after killing his righteous brother Abel.
Onesimus stole from his Christian master and ran away, ending up in Rome. Quite far from Colosse, no matter how you measure it.
The prodigal son ran away from his responsibilities.
The disciples ran away from the soldiers in the garden in fear.
But, no matter who ran away, or for what reasons. Running didn’t solve their problems. Often they run away from their bad circumstances into even worse circumstances. And they all eventually had to come back home and face the music.
Have you ever thought about running away, whether as a child or an adult? I am reminded of the Andy Griffith episode (it may actually be the very first one) when Opie wants to run away. His dad offers to write his runaway note for him. And Opie comes to realize that maybe running away wasn’t going to be as much fun as he thought.
Adults have a tendency to run from churches and marriages and friendships and other situations that are just really hard to deal with. We run away in discouragement or anger or desperation. But, the problems aren’t dealt with by running, the situation doesn’t improve, and we haven’t changed.
you run away to God. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
When we run away to God, He changes us. He wrestles with us like He wrestled with Jacob, until we surrender.
When we run away to God, He speaks to us with a still small voice, like He did to Elijah. He meets our needs.
When we run away to God, He reveals the next step in His plan for our lives, like He did with Moses.
When we run away to God, we find Him the God who hears and is with us, like He heard Hagar.
When we run away to God, His gives us a second chance to serve Him and even bless fellow believers (and enemies), like He did with Onesimus and Jonah.
When we run away to God, He shows us our sinful hearts, restores us, and gives us victory, like He did with the armies of Israel.
When we run away to God, He makes us bold to tell what we have seen and experienced of Him, like He did with the disciples.
When we run away to God, He sends us right back where we came from, in order to face the situation with His strength and enabling. In His grace, He gives us another chance to rely on Him, and bring glory to Him. Isn’t that amazing!
Are you tempted to run away from a situation in your life? How can you run to God, and experience His grace and help?
Bernadette is known online as the Barefoot Hippie Girl. She writes her blog of the same name, with the intent of challenging her readers to wait on the Lord and renew their strength; to run and not grow weary; to walk and not faint. You can also find her on twitter and Facebook