I have a remedy for everything. Migraine? Turmeric tea, peppermint and lavender oil, and putting a tight headband on while soaking your feet in hot water with ice on the back of your neck. Sinus infection? Nasal rinse, heat, massage and a decongestant. Anxiety? BREATHE, muscle relaxation exercises, ashwagandha, and about a million more things. When something is wrong, I find solutions, I execute the solutions, and I move on. I am not a patient person. I do not like to be held back by circumstances. So, anytime I have a problem the first place I go is google, I find every remedy, DIY, and suggestion available and try them all because a quick solution is a better solution. Long term solutions on the other hand, that is where I fail. I could prevent migraines with exercise…ew, sinus infections with daily nasal rinses…boooring… or anxiety with diet and MORE exercise…No, thank you. I tend toward being a quick fix junky.
I treated my relationship with God like that. The problem was I wasn’t on fire for him, the solution was to find my moment. You know that “coming to Jesus” moment so many people have? I grew up in a Christian home, I was saved before life was hard, so I never had that “moment” and I felt like if I could just get it, then I could ignite and all my problems would fall away. So, I went to church, I went to retreats, I went to concerts, devoured books, I had deep conversations with wise people, I read my bible, and I waited. I was like a pull engine revving and revving but never igniting. I would come home excited and ready to finally die to my flesh and follow him…only to fall right back into my sin patterns.
For some people there is a moment; the leper, the crippled man who was lowered through the roof, the guy down the street who read his bible and never drank another drop of alcohol. I’m not saying they don’t happen, but it didn’t happen for me. In my quest to find a moment I got lost. I was full of sin and it was heavy, so heavy, in fact, that I broke. Snap. For me it was anxiety. When it first began it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, I would just do whatever google said to make it go away. So, I did the deep breathing, I did the muscle relaxation, I took the ashwagandha and it helped, but it did not cure. Step two, I watched the 700 club every day and waited for them to pick me for a miracle. I was like the Cripple at Bethesda waiting for the water to turn so I could touch it, I remember thinking it made sense, God allowed this all along so I could prove my faith and be chosen for a miracle…but I was never chosen. And for a minute, I hated Him for not choosing me, for not healing me. I felt like I was the bleeding woman reaching for His cloak and He was running away. I was willing to reach, I was willing to trust, I was willing to have faith, I was willing to do anything to end my suffering…quickly.
It’s hard to look back. To remember the desperation I felt, the disappointment, the loathing. I’ve never felt something quite like it, but I wouldn’t change it. It was during this time that I learned that God had something better for me than a miracle and something longer lasting than a moment. When I reached the bottom of myself, He met me and walked me through each minute. He taught me long suffering and the fruit it produces. He didn’t just forgive my sins He taught me how to sin no more, we had to find each root and pull it up which was painful, but worth it. He taught me to take my thoughts captive, he taught me to trust, to obey, to choose Him in each moment. He let me struggle so I could see His power, His grace, His love. Faith developed by trials is stronger than faith developed by miracles and because of that season my faith is strong. He taught me daily disciple and obedience.
I still struggle in moments, I still have anxious thoughts every now and then, and I still google remedies before praying sometimes, but because of what He walked me through I always end up back at his feet, handing him my heavy load and taking His light one. Willing to walk the long road of suffering and growth for something deeper and more meaningful than things that come quickly. The more I choose Him the less I fall into these sin patterns.
There is no magic moment or secret remedy to following Christ. If you want your heart ignited you have to rekindle it daily. He called us to “Ask, seek, and knock,” we have an active part in this relationship there is no song, no message, no preacher, no moment that will save you, only Christ can do that, He just wants you to follow, obey, and trust Him.