How do we understand the differences between our needs and wants? It can be difficult to differentiate them and even harder to wade through them when our emotional state is high. Personally, I’ve been reminded constantly about the need for safety and significance within my life. For years I tried hard to keep my home and work lives balanced by not bringing home things that were affecting me at work and by not taking what was happening at home to work. Over the course of the last few months that has been exceedingly harder. The unbalance in both areas of my life started to give my manager and co-workers cause for alarm as my habits started to become irrational. Even my wife started to think that maybe it was time for a job change because of the undue stress it was inflicting. My heart grew restless and my mind started to wander, which then led to a deep depression to wash over me. I simply didn’t care anymore about anything and wanted out by any means. My heart was screaming out for a refuge, but I didn’t know what to do.
The other night when I was watching my daughter, Carrie, while my wife enjoyed a girl’s night out that all of this came full circle. Watching Carrie play, scream, and carry on at full steam I realized that what I was truly missing was being able to enjoy the moments I was in. I spent so much time worrying and contemplating the future of what I was working on that I didn’t give myself the time to relax and enjoy what was right in front of me now. Granted my daughter is only nine months old, but for a baby their only needs are simple and get fulfilled by their parents. We all have needs and no matter how great they are we should receive that fulfillment from God.
My safety and significance comes directly from God, not from my home life, work, or anything on this earth, because everything will be left lacking as I found out the hard way. I spent so much time trying to base the value of my life on the things that I had right around me that I was never satisfied or happy with what I had and it left my heart wanting more of a world that could never quench the thirst.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” Psalm 16:1
I could give you the easy route and say, “all you need to do is pray and find comfort in God,” but then none of those answers can give justice to the role God plays in our lives as His children, He is so much more than that. God is our safe harbor from the storms of lie, He is our shield, and He is the light to our path guiding us back to Him. For me He was the piece of my life that I was ignoring and didn’t put the effort into, so when my life started to get rocky I wasn’t able to grasp onto Him as easily and quickly fell to the bottom of the pit. A depression kicked and it left me clawing at the walls of life to get out. It can be a cyclical cycle if we allow it to be, but the simple truth in everything is that if we don’t spend time with God getting to know and understand Him then how can we call on Him when we need Him the most.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day," Psalm 91:1-16
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
In the end, I am working on a plan to stay in His Word daily and in prayer even more so that my heart and thoughts are more closely aligned with His. I want to do this because I know what it means to be without His guidance and joy in my life to which I desperately never want to feel myself again. For those months I left anger rather than love fill my speech and thought, it polluted my very existence and I hated myself that much more because of it.