Monday, May 19, 2014

Will You Also Go Away?

John 6:67  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away?

         I had gotten to the point of where I just wanted to give up.
         I am not sure why, but so many things had piled up on me at one time that I had just gotten to the point of breaking. Work, college, teaching two Bible studies a week, an emotional letdown, plus an assortment of other concerns had just pushed me over the edge. I had gotten to the point of just wanting to give up.
         I just didn't care anymore.
         I can still remember my mother's face when I told her that Christianity was a good philosophy for some, but as for me, it just didn't seem to work. She was so upset, and understandably so. I had led her to the Lord in January of 1971, and here it was November of 1975 and I was talking about throwing in the towel.
         I had been teaching Bible studies in my parents' home since September of 1973, and had shared many times about the faithfulness of God, the purpose of trials, and how God would never leave you nor forsake you. I knew these things, but for me, it seemed as if the heavens were brass and God had turned His face from me. I somehow was convinced that God loved other people, but He just didn't love me. So I told her, "Christianity just doesn't work for me". As she walked out of the den, I felt terrible. I didn't want to be a cause of stumbling for her and yet I honestly was so depressed I just blurted out what I was feeling.
         I can still remember sitting on a couch in the den with my bible open next to me. I didn't want to read it, but I picked it up and began reading the gospel of John, chapter 6. Then I came to verse 67, "Will you also go away?" I can't explain it in any way but must simply say, I knew God was asking me the same question. I remember praying, "God, where is there for me to go? When I got saved, I lost all my old friends, I am in Bible College, and my only dream for the last five years has been to one day pastor a church. Where can I go? There is nowhere I can go"!
         These were not words of faith and love, but rather of confusion, anger, and frustration. I felt like I was stuck, and had no alternatives. After praying these words, I continued reading the passage. John wrote, "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" (V68-69).
         As I read these words, I began to cry. I remember praying, "Where can I go Jesus? What is there in life, but You? I am hurting so much inside, I feel like I could die. But I am convinced that You have the words of eternal life. I know that you are the Son of the living God. Help me, please!"
         I wish I could tell you that immediately my depression left me, but it didn't. I struggled for some time after, but the struggle changed. I no longer felt like a helpless victim of circumstances, and no longer felt abandoned by God. I understood that the victory that would overcome the world would be faith; faith in a loving God Who would walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death. 
         My healing came through surrendering to God's word, and receiving God's promise to be with me and to never leave me. 
         Today, if you are hurting or feeling low, trust in the promises of God and return to His word. After all, where can you go?
             He has the words of eternal life.

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