Sometimes, when you are feeling the need to reach out to someone or something to feel better, you actually just need to sit and let God take care of it. That’s what happened to me on the way home from church recently. I was feeling a bit upset and anxious, but I wasn’t sure why. I thought it might be helpful to call a friend and pontificate about what I self-diagnosed the problem to be. Well, as God’s will would have it, no one I called was home. So instead I found myself driving quietly and just thinking. And in this profound wordless conversation I had with myself, I realized that I didn’t need someone or something else to make me feel better. I needed God. You see, I’ve been a Christian for quite some time now. However, due to my own issues and misperceptions, I haven’t let God be my everything.
David writes in Psalm 63, Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water… Because your love is better than life my lips will glorify you. God can satiate your life and spirit if you let Him. I had not let God do this. I love the Lord very much. But there is a part of me that still won’t let God all the way in. He wants to completely transform my life. And although He’s done so much already, my flesh won’t let me be satisfied with just God and God alone. I keep searching the earth for this additional external entity that is going to quench my thirst, but to no avail it is ever found. I continuously seek out something to add to God, but to my despair I continue looking. That’s because there is nothing else. It is God and God alone that can fulfill me. And by fulfill, I’m not referring to this concept of acquiring possessions and worldly success. No, by “fulfill me” I mean that the Lord leaves me feeling complete at all times. When my circumstances are promising, I feel fulfilled. When my circumstances are grim, I still feel fulfilled.
In John, Jesus refers to Himself as the vine and we are its branches. …apart from me you can do nothing. This is so true! How many of you own a houseplant? How does it live? You water it, prune it, and place it near sunlight. It doesn’t have to do anything but be the houseplant. Well, God does the same for us. Except we like to move around. How would you like it if your houseplant could move on its own? It would make taking care of the plant pretty difficult, right? Or what if your plant could talk back and complain about the water being too hot or too cold. Well, that’s what I realize I do to God. He wants to take care of me, but I fight Him every step of the way. I just need to be that little grape branch chillin’ on the vine and not worry about anything. I don’t have to search for the rain or the sun. Because as long as I am attached to the vine, I am always taken care of, my rain and sun will come. The vine is a constant source for fulfilling all my needs. Without the vine I bear no fruit — I am unproductive.
So I have decided that I need time for solitude, time for just God and me to get to know one another personally. People can’t always be there for me. And the more I try to have all my emotional needs met by them, the more I realize that people fail. And that would be a very sad realization if I didn’t also know the truth about my Lord, in that He never fails me, forgets me, or forsakes me. Do you know this truth too?
Diera Shaw-Mendez is thrilled to be part of the team Barbara’s Place, and also serves as worship leader and youth leader at New Beginnings Worship Center, Pennsauken, NJ. She is wife to Chaplain Juan Mendez and mama to Olivia Joy and Sage. She enjoys graphic design, event planning, and cooking. Diera is a God-fearing, Starbucks loving, tech junkie (…in that order!) who simply wants to remind women of God’s unchanging, healing love.