I have, quite obviously, struggled with writing over the past year or so. I have sat down countless times with either good thoughts that just would not pull or together. Or the attitude of 'I HAVE to write something something, it's been ages, COME ON Noel just do it!' (as Nike would say)
As you can see neither worked. I have countless drafts of unfinished posts, the beginning process of a few good thoughts that fizzled out in the end.
This has been depressing, and led to discouraging thoughts of 'Maybe I have lost my writing capability' or, 'I have been out of school so long I forgot how to finish a paper'.
I have wondered if the enticing draw of seemingly endless media and social outlets might be the culprit. For example: why write about my own boring life when I can stalk people on Facebook or Instagram, be thoroughly confused by Twitter, waste away my ENTIRE life wishing for things on Pinterest, and last, but not least; watch a plethora of mindless forgotten TV shows on Netflix. Take your poison, er, choice.
Four weeks ago I started a Bible study by Beth Moore, 'Believing God'. One word: life-changing, (maybe that's two.....oh well)
I think that God has been preparing me for this kind of renewal, revival, sifting season for a while now. I can see His hand working in my life, for this purpose, going back at least a few years.
Africa, marriage, church, personal walk, sermons I've listened to, people I've come in contact with, etc.
I have not come to any conclusion, (HA!). In fact, I am hoping that this is a journey that never ends, in which my life is continually being changed day by day. Sounds familiar.......
Anyways, it sounds so cliche to to say something like 'I've never felt closer to God in all my life'. And honestly I think I've been having so much trouble finishing posts because I have been more concerned with sounding good than being transparent and laying it all out there for everyone to see.
This new sense of 'belonging' is not just a feeling of 'I am so close to God right now'. Because I've been there, and because it is a feeling it always fades. The spiritual highs and lows of my life are numerous, they are practically a roller coaster unto themselves.
It started a week or so ago when during a discussion about prayer, asking God for things, and His love for us, I was abruptly brought face to face with three different lies I had been believing. Things that have been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember.
#1 - Why do I get offended when God doesn't answer my prayers? I get mad or upset, maybe even bitter because He did not do something I asked Him to.
#2 - When I am praying for someone, either for their health, situation, salvation, etc, I always pray like I am the only thing that is holding God back from wreaking havoc on that person and destroying their life. And if I do not pray for them who knows what God could do to them!
#3 - In my innermost heart I believe that God is unjust and cruel, otherwise how could He could He let these things happen to people that He supposedly loves.
Harsh, maybe, Hard questions, oh my yes. Things we've all thought, you tell me.
I received three answers right away.
My child, are you entitled to anything from me? More than that, what more can I give you? I have given you my Son, He made a way for you to live with me forever when you deserve hell for eternity. I created you, I am in all things, and all things are for me and through me. I give you life and breath and everything.
You act like I don't care about what is happening to the people you are praying for, but you are forgetting one important detail: I created each and every one of them. I love them and know them so much more than you can even imagine. Of course I want what is best for them, and I want each and every person to be saved, haven't I made that very clear?
Ah, yes, the 'Why do bad things happen to good people?' question. You throw this in my face like it is a big mystery, when there is a simple answer. Think of my Son for a moment, do you think I loved Him? Cared for Him? Wanted the best for Him? You have no idea beloved.
Yet, I allowed Him to suffer, be nailed to cross, endure shame and humiliation, have all of my judgement and condemnation for the world be put on His shoulders, and die. Do you think He deserved this? No. The ultimate bad happened to the ultimate good, and this was my plan. To save you. How can you doubt when hard things happen? Question my very nature that I have already proven time and time again.
I love you.
Every time I think about I get chills, and a feeling of awe and unworthiness comes over me.
The past week has been a journey, I look back and I think look at what I was missing! I had no idea what that scripture meant, or what a personal moment by moment walk with the Lord felt like. I have heard that small, quiet voice many times each day. Most of the time it could be passed off as 'my inner conscience', but I know better. He is alive in me, and He loves me more than I can fathom.
Let Him in. Let Him speak to you. Let the walls comes down. He is worthy of our trust. And adoration, worship, allegiance, and life.
Be free (from doubt and mediocrity)