Nazareth.. Can anything good come from there?

This walk with God can be difficult.

Look at the heading; this is what Nathaniel asked Philip when he told him about the messiah. (John 1:46) “Nazareth, Can anything good come from there?” Just utter disbelief that the great messiah could be from such a destitute place!

I have been asking myself a similar question lately. Can anything good come from my life? This is very deep but I will explain.

I just don’t feel deserving of this grace God gives us so freely. God is our father, Yes. But for me it’s hard not to relate with him like the typical African parent, who rewards our good behavior with nice things and punishes us severely when we falter. In this case the nice things would be grace and favour. Does everyone else feel so undeserving of this grace or it’s just me? I don’t always do the right thing, so usually, I am half expecting to be struck down with fire and brimstone when I go wrong and then I don’t understand when I wake up and nothing bad has happened. I know all these things about his mercies being new every morning, however, experiencing it is on a whole new level for me -especially in this season of self doubt that I am in.

“Self doubt ” can be defined as a lack of confidence in one’s abilities. Hence the question, can anything good come from my life? I’ve been feeling so so separated from God after “being so good”. It has just taken me by surprise! Listen, I was doing all the right things.. Praying, fasting, trusting him, church, Bible study and I must say I felt good! I was so free! You’d even notice that in my earlier posts I mentioned that I’d even forgotten I had problems. The joy I was feeling was on another level 😂 so where from all this?

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have allowed my joy to be stolen. My spirit is being killed and my self worth appears to be destroyed. I felt like I was on a winning streak and as soon as I fell, all my old feelings and emotions of not being good enough kept rushing back. I know all of this is not true. I know it’s just the devil trying to derail me by telling me I’m not good enough but guys it is hard not to give in to those thoughts! I don’t feel good enough to pray, study the word and watch my usual sermons… I just feel very..blah.

Today I continued my study of the book of Samuel after a long hiatus and I just prayed a tiny, little, feeble prayer for understanding of the word. Certainly not my usual thundering voice of faith. What truly stood out to me was David’s unconditional love for his son; Absalom. I compared the entire story to our relationship with God and trust me He loves us soooo much.

“All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Can you imagine the depth of this message? God actually devises ways to bring us back to him when we have been separated. (I did a little dance of joy and relief when I read this)

Certain things make us feel like he’s far away.. Maybe like me you’ve sinned and you can’t even bear to face him. Maybe you’ve been praying about something for what feels like an eternity he’s being extra quiet. Maybe what you’re going through makes the valley of the shadow of death look like a walk in the park but don’t look away from him! He’s there and he’s devising a way to bring you back to him in the most marvelous way possible. Have patience and fight through the negative,fearful feelings!

Let’s compare David and Absalom to God and us. Look at how Absalom just conspired against his dad so slyly and tried to take away his kingdom. He raped his half sister, slept with his father’s concubines and basically disrespected him by waging a war against him. -But before the war even happened, David was so worried about him. David had completely forgotten that Absalom had sinned against him and was more concerned about his safety. He was ready to forgive his son!

“And the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.” And all the troops heard the king give this order to his commanders.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭18:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Can you just believe that! So I am going to tell you guys what I told myself today. Do whatever it takes to go back to God when you have been separated from him because he is waiting for you. If David felt this way about a child who had sinned against him can you even begin to imagine how God feels when you are far away?

The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.””

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭18:33‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Like David, This is exactly how God feels! He grieves and he mourns and is just devastated when we go away and never come back. He is just so sad when he loses us. So this simply tells us to keep going back to him no matter how many times we fall. We must get up, dust off our knees and ran back into his arms because he is waiting.

Note to self: I will never allow the devil, to make me feel too guilty, too sad, too unworthy and too ashamed to reconcile with my father. ❤️

-A. Afua


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