Phillipians 4:6-7 ESV
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Nonetheless, within just these past few days, I have fallen short once again. I’ve been extremely uneasy. I went as far as “diagnosing” all possible causes (It must’ve been something I ate. Did I need more sleep?). As I lied awake frustrated from another restless night, I suddenly felt the Holy Spirit nudge me. It was regarding something that God revealed to me months ago. I began feeling uneasy about a friend and felt that God was leading me away from that person, yet I chose to (slightly) ignore it. How I went from knowing that I should distance myself to assuming that “distance” was up for interpretation, I’m still not sure. I do, however, remember wondering whether it was my thinking or God telling me to go. So, I somewhat listened and stopped hanging around that friend as much, though I didn’t quite let go in an attempt to avoid feelings of loneliness.
I didn’t see much harm coming from a friendship. The thing is that though I hate to admit it, satan is pretty clever and can sneak confusion into a situation if we are not consciously and consistently guarding our hearts. The second mistake I made was failing to believe that I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me (Romans 5: 35-39) and that it is never too late to make right of a wrong situation.
I am now confident that it was the Holy Spirit nudging me back then. The thing is, God knows all and sees all. He knew that I would be right where I am before I got here. He knows exactly what I can and cannot handle. Now, though to-date nothing tragic has happened as a result of that friendship, I have still had no peace regarding it. That’s a big deal to me.
It all began when I started ignoring the Holy Spirit. When you begin ignoring a spiritual tug from the Holy Spirit, your trouble starts manifesting itself in other ways that may not initially appear to be related. In my case, that manifestation was lack of peace, fear, and stress that seemingly came out of nowhere, but actually cultivated slowly over time. So today, I choose obedience.
Though trials are inevitable, there is a reason why God asks us to be obedient: one, I believe, is for our protection. I’m not sure if it’s human nature or just my nature, but sometimes I feel as though being obedient to God’s will automatically means that I’m sacrificing something/potentially missing out. I realize that oftentimes you do miss out when you obey God. You miss out on stress, heartache, and pain that God sees before you do. God is a shield for His children.
Psalms 3:3-4 ESVWhile I am far from a spiritual authority, I’d like to share a piece of advice that may help someone: The next time you consider hanging on to something that God told you to let go of or you begin experiencing feelings of regret about letting something go, remember that God never withholds any GOOD thing from those who are obedient and trust in Him.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”
Psalms 84:11-12 ESV
"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!"
Please Note: This is not to say that because you are currently frustrated in a situation that it is time for you to just “drop” it. Letting go because it seems easier to handle versus letting go because God told you to are two different scenarios. Ask God for guidance, read His Word, and stay on watch for your answer. God Bless!
Lonna Edwards is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studies Electrical and Computer Engineering.