“We need reminders about God’s goodness. We are programmed to focus on what we don’t have. This dissatisfaction transfers over to our thinking about God. We forget that we already have everything we need in Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshipped and loved. We are to fear Him.”
-Francis Chan “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God), Ch. 1
I would love to say that I come today with joy and optimism, but I’m afraid all I have found is despair. Life is just not what I thought it would be and I find that even after almost two months, I still find it hard to accept that. Have you ever stopped and looked at your life and wondered, "How did I get here?" I’m not saying I’m perfect or anything, but I feel like I have tried to live my life the right way and I still ended up wandering here looking for whatever it is that might make things better. Lost and feeling more alone than ever.
It’s hard to watch people you care about make major mistakes in their lives. I find myself wondering how that bad that person must feel about their life to make such a huge mistake for the future. I fear that will be me 5 years from now. I fear maybe that already was me and that’s why I am in this place to begin with.
It’s hard to look a beautiful little boy so full of life and not fear for his future. I am scared for him to feel pain the way I am. Life seems so full of tough times and painful moments. Sometimes I wonder if life is about anything more than suffering.
I spent a lot of today in a losing battle. Warring with myself about the ability to trust that there is so much more planned for this life. Faith is such a hard concept for us. We are asked to do the unthinkable, to relinquish the little bit of control we have to a being we can’t even see. When you think about that, from an outsider’s perspective that seems really crazy. Seriously, followers of Christ probably seem kind of nuts. Maybe we are, hopefully we are not.
But how is it possible to surrender willingly and wholeheartedly to God? That’s a question I have been asking and not fully been able to answer most of my life. I have mentioned before that we must fall crazy, madly in love with Jesus. I still believe that. But how do we even accomplish that? I think Francis Chan has a point when he says we must first evaluate how we actually see God.
I think this is most true (and surprisingly harder) for people in my position. People who have spent most of their lives knowing about Christ, those used to hearing His name. Those of us in that boat, are so used to the concept of God, we don’t even think twice when we hear His name spoken. We believe in His presence, we know we should consult Him when making decisions, we know we should live a certain way. But chances are we don’t quiver when we hear His name, we aren’t visibly excited to talk about Him (although I don’t mean to say we aren’t ever, just not consistently). We are so used to “God” that we forget who He even is.
I have been thinking recently about how I view God. Don’t think I’m just calling you out if the last paragraph described you, I am citing myself here. I am so guilty of just looking to God for me and my needs and then turning to despair when I realize things are going the way I want or think they will or should go. I am guilty of periodically falling into the whole, “Maybe it’s impossible” point of view. Although I don’t truly believe it, sometimes it’s easier to whine that it’s impossible for someone to love me, for me to do what God calls me to, that this life it too difficult, that it’s impossible for God to meet my needs (among many others) rather than the truth: that it’s just not the time for me or God to do those things.
Stop now (if you wanna see something cool!) and go to www.crazylovebook.com and watch the video title The Awe Factor of God. The video shows a telescope span out as far into space as we have the technology to do. It’s amazing, awe-inspiring. It’s the best example we have at the magnitude of God. This God we speak of not only created all of those galaxies, He commands the sun daily to rise and set. He commands our lungs and organs to continue to work. Every thing that exists and happens is given or allowed by Him. Hopefully that is a big deal to you, I know I needed to be reminded of that today.
It’s so easy to be discouraged, even when you have a pretty good life like I do. I can’t imagine what life must be like for so many others that struggle with much deeper problems than I do. Many of them have so much more faith than I do. Life is just plain hard here.
But we serve a BIG God. It’s important to stop sometimes and remember that. Among all the monotony of life and the chaos of struggling, it’s hard to forget that all things aren’t just possible in God, but He is the God of the Impossible. Although He may choose not to do many things, He can do ANYTHING He wants. Faith without believing that is most likely not true faith. Faith must be rooted in the belief there is nothing that can stop God.
It’s far too common for me to believe God cannot come through with what I desire. Maybe He will or is choosing not to, but I cannot say I have true faith if I do not realize that He can.
I still feel sad, I still fear the unknown. Not because I don’t believe God can accomplish it, but I’m afraid of the road He will lead me to get there. But afraid or not, I believe. Maybe a good place to start in my conversations with Him is to spend a little less time telling Him what I want (haha I make sure to reiterate them multiple times just in case He isn’t sure) and spend some time worshiping by looking at who He is and what He can do. That isn’t something I do on a regular basis (as I imagine a lot of people don’t). I try to spend some of my prayer time thanking Him, but I have to admit I spend most of it on me and what I want (even if it’s what I want for others).
This whole concept of surrendering is rooted in the fact that I must give my heart to God. How can I ever learn to trust enough to do so if I don’t take the time to truly know Him for who He is? I may have lost today, but He never does and something tells me my loss today is His gain (as usual).