Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stupid trees - This present struggle continued.

Last night I got the little one to bed, finished up a second conversation with my pastor who is adamantly certain about things I'm not longer adamantly certain about, and then I sat down at my dining room table and got down to basics with God... again.

1. I'm upset that while yes, I have seen and felt some outstandingly amazing things this year, the bad has officially out weighed the good as of Sunday. I've seen more of the devils displays of power than I have of Gods. I want God to balance things out.

2. Just like I told my pastor last night, I'm ok with whatever God wants to throw at me (maying I'm just fooling myself when I say that) as long as it includes His presence. I was scared to death of foster parenting, but I knew God was there and with me so I did it. I was scared to buy a house, but God pointed at the one He wanted and was with me each step of the way, so I did it. At no point in this Christian walk do I want to feel alone. I need His presence. I'm in too deeply over my head to do this without His presence.

3. I'm frustrated with the idea that He's there but you don't always know it. Why would He just duck out and decide to make it feel like He's not there, even if He is? Yes, I know His ways are not our own, but I'm not satisfied with that answer. What kind of person would draw you, compel you into deeper waters and then once you step off a mighty drop off - suddenly hide themselves so they can watch you?

4. I realize I'm placing a lot of my ideas and expectations onto God. He knows things I'll never even begin to imagine are out there to know. He understands things I could never even begin to comprehend. But (go ahead and shake your head every time I say 'but') there has to be something of Him that I grasp. You can't just tell me to trust You, and then be trustworthy except for a horrific time where You throw me off the deep end and disappear. I don't know what to think of You when that happens. It just makes me feel wounded.

5. I'm not satisfied with the answers anymore. Last month I would have repeated the same answers I've primarily heard. But I'm not satisfied with that at all anymore. Walking blindly by faith is one thing, but the first time you slam into a tree you're going to stop and walk more tentatively and feel around you more often before you take a step. And if someone had you by the arm when you slammed into that tree...

6. The decision was clearly made by the end of last night that I do need God. I know I do. And I quite painfully told Him that last night. I can't imagine life without Him - HIM, a relationship with Him, not just the salvation He provides. That said: In all this the new question has become whether or not I'm willing to close my eyes and start walking again.

I don't ever want to slam into this tree again. I'll walk through a lot of things as long as He's holding my hand. But I need to trust He's not going to let go. And unfortunately, the general answer to this - even in my own knowledge, not just what others have been saying - is that if I move forward I'm going to slam into a lot of trees. And when I slam into each tree, there is no guarantee that I won't feel alone. And I don't want to live under the principle that God is great, and things are wonderful --- except for those times that it feels like He's utterly rejected you.

I know I can't set terms and conditions with God. That's not how it works. Though, it seems like that's exactly what this posting is: a set of rules and conditions by which I require God to operate in order for me to press on. I don't excuse myself and say that what I'm doing is necessary. What I do say is that I just don't have it in me to do anything else unless God does something.

I'm broken, and I can't fix myself.


Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog and have been catching up since you mentioned it to me in email. I won't pretend to have the grand words that most of your fellow bloggers have. In reading today, I thought about learning to ride a bike. Your parents(protectors) are there to hold on and give you balance as you ride. Just as soon as things start to go well and you are having fun, you turn around to see them far back cheering you on but still to far back to catch you. Most of us panic, fall over or run into something. True, we might have gotten hurt in the process, but they were there to put the band aid on and make it feel better. "Why did you let go and let me fall" we ask. "I wanted to see if you were ready to make it on your own. I will never know unless I let go" God may let us go and we may feel as if we are getting hurt left and right, but we still learn from that and he is always there to pick us up and put his healing band aid on. We learn if we are ready to stand with him behind to pick us up, or if we need him to hold on a little longer. So right now it seems you have gone as far as you can go by yourself, let God do his healing and let him know it's time for him to hold on again and guide you on your way. Like I said, nothing profound but hope it helps.

Your friend,

Anonymous said...

you trust in God.
wait on God.
not easy.

Mark H said...

Have you heard of a Canadian prophetic evangelist/revivalist called Patricia King? She absolutely LOVES the manifest, felt presence of God. But a few years ago, God told her that He was going to withdraw His felt presence from her for a while. He wasn't going to withdraw His presence. But He was going to withdraw her ability to sense His presence in the ways that she was used to. He told her that He wanted her to grow in stronger faith, relying less on feelings and circumstances, and much more on believing His promises and taking hold of them.

At first she was excited. She recognised the blessing on offer that she was going to get fresh revelation from His Word during this season so that she could grow in faith that takes hold of the unseen promises of God. It was an amazing thing that God had set before her.

But it wasn't long before she was confronted that it was going to be very hard. She really had become accustomed to trusting her feelings and circumstances more than His promises. She had to learn to pray for people according to His Word, rather than how she FELT led. She had to rejoice in others who were experiencing manifestations of His presence when she wasn't - even in the same meetings. She had to worship with passion and belief that God was with her, even though she could no longer sense that with her natural senses.

But at the same time she was getting so much more out of The Word than she had ever done before. She was receiving fresh faith. She was seeing more and more seemingly impossible things change in response to that faith. Even though she was no longer feeling anything.

The season lasted an entire year! I've heard her speak about it. Her testimony is that it was very hard at times but now she would not swap that time for anything. She grew so much in faith. She received revelation. She was equipped for the time she is in now, seeing all manner of Kingdom power touch people's lives.

Your situation may well be different. But I really believe that if you will take hold of the promises of God by faith instead of looking to your feelings or your circumstances then you are in for a time of massive spiritual growth that you will cherish forever.

I'm not going to pretend that Patricia's experience is easy, or even appealing. When I heard her speak about it, I recognised how much I tend to rely on my own natural senses awareness of the presence of God, and I cried out on the inside "please, not me God, I honestly don't know how long I could cope with that". But then I realised that was a form of rebellion and I said "whatever needs to be done to make me the man you have in your mind's eye" and I held my breath, and I guess, in a way, that I still am.

Be blessed today in the reality of the promises of God, nothing less, nothing more.

One Sided said...

Makes one wonder just what sort of BLog Job would have written? Would there be more insight to the human struggle if that struggle was told in the first person? And his particular set of difficulties were faced without the testimony of the Christ child. And after, once the Devil gave up on him. Was there any understanding of the reason for the events in his life? Do you think he knew that his surviving witness was the reason?