I love sports, especially when I was a kid. Sports really were my most loyal and consistent companion growing up. Actually, sports were my best friend and main comforter while growing up, in fact, almost everything I did revolved around sports.
One favorite activity, when I wasn’t feeling connected, heard, or taken seriously, I would go up to my room and re-create pro basketball games in my bedroom. A rolled up pair of socks made a great ball, and a hanging lamp played the basket. I was an awesome shot and in my fantasy game, I always won. My fantasy helped soothe and distract my mind from the hurt, and escape to someplace where I was important, valued, and life was enjoyable.
When we feel misunderstood, devalued, or even just simply overlooked, we turn to things that we believe will make us feel better; eating, shopping, sex, alcohol, drugs, TV, pornography, gossiping, exercise, gardening, knitting, cooking, a business deal, or a work project. The list is endless.
However, after a mild blip of satisfaction, none of these things really make us feel better over the long run. None of these idolatrous substitutes satisfies the thirst for what we truly desire; God’s compassionate, unfailing love. In fact, these substitutes, take us farther away from what God offers us. Satan offers many empty substitutes, only God offers real and lasting love, comfort, and peace.
Today, identify what you turn to for soothing and comfort. Recognize your pattern and strategy. Is it really self-protective or is it actually self-destructive? When you are feeling misunderstood, overlooked…hungry and thirsty for satisfaction, remember this; God is the Lover of your soul, and He understands you perfectly, and loves you eternally. Reach out to Him through prayer, the Word, and listen. Cease striving and know that He is God! Take one promise you know of His and act like you believe it. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, I am so thankful that it is my soul that You love, and not my appearance or performance. I am often dissatisfied with both of these…especially when I make them my focus. There are so many empty substitutes in this world, so many things to turn to when I want to feel better about myself, or to provide a distraction so I don’t have to think about why I am hurting. Father, help me experience more fully Your unconditional love. Help me relax in Your loving presence and to always turn my focus to You. I know that You created me to know You, love You, and make You the center of my life. I pray with hope in the name of my best friend, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted amongst the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
“Though the mountains may be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” say the Lord who has compassion on you.