Pastor's wife: 'Unfortunately, we can sometimes run from God instead of running to Him'


I asked Stevie, who turns 7 this week, to name something he would run from.  “A T-Rex, a raptor, and a stegosaurus,” he answered without a pause.

“Can you think of something smaller?” I asked.

“Oh, ok, a baby T-Rex,” he replied.  I laughed out loud.

There are other things we run from as we get older: problems, conflict, and, these days, maybe social interaction.

Unfortunately, we can sometimes run from God instead of running to Him.  We can also run from His will. Jonah is a textbook example of how that can go.  We may not get swallowed by a whale but will end up somewhere we never anticipated.

As a mom, youth Sunday school teacher, and Bible teacher at the jail and local rehabs, I have an extended list.  Run away from abusive relationships.  Run from those who drink.  (No one ever got smarter from alcohol.)  Run from people who are using drugs.  (I often encourage the young and not so young to go hide in a bathroom in an emergency situation.)  Run from peer pressure, especially when there is pressure to have sex outside of marriage.

Genesis 39 tells of an intense time when Joseph, a slave a the time, was being pressured daily by his owner’s wife to go to bed with her.  Not once or twice, but day in, day out.

Even after explaining he would not do it, she persisted.  One day, she trapped him.  No one else was around.  Grabbing Joseph by his cloak, she demanded, “Come to bed with me.”  But he ran out of his coat and the house.

While Joseph had done the right thing, Potiphar’s wife lied.  She called for the other servants and dramatically announced that Joseph had tried to molest her.  She held on to the cloak to inform her husband when he came home.  Boy, was he mad.

Joseph, who had been sold into slavery by his brothers, was falsely accused, and then thrown into prison.  He had done no wrong. 

Genesis 39:20 records an important fact: “While Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him.  He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.”  God was stilling writing Joseph’s story, even in prison.

There’s lots of running in the Bible. In the New Testament, in 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul encouraged Timothy, “Flee (run away from) the evil desires of youth and pursue (chase) righteousness, faith, love and peace …” 

Hebrews 12:1-2 coaches us, too, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.”  Throw it off like a cloak…and run with perseverance. 

Solomon wrote, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe,” (Proverbs 18:10).  In times of trouble, let’s run, not walk, to God.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that on good days and bad, I can always turn to You.  Please give me strength to run away from things that are not good for me and straight into Your arms.  Amen.