I didn’t post my Multitude Monday post yesterday, even though I meant to. Even though I have more gifts to add to my list. And that’s not all I haven’t done.
Yeah…I’ve done it again. To be quite honest, I’ve been a little lost for the last couple weeks now. I’ve known it…but somehow it’s hard to get un-lost and regain that connection with God. I trust you all know what I mean…that I’m not the only one to have experienced this.
I’ve tried spending quiet time with Him, and I feel like I get nowhere. My Bible reading has been sporadic, and the truths I discover seem such tiny nuggets compared with the power I know is in there! I know that’s both a cause and a symptom of this place I feel stuck in.
It’s a place where I know that God is here and with me…but I don’t feel it. His peace is still there, deep within me…yet I feel like I’m looking at it through layers of clutter in my life. I’ve heard Him speak to me and received a few wonderful revelations…yet I feel like I’m missing that closeness…a closeness that, quiet honestly, I didn’t even know a few years ago.
Years ago, when I’d discover myself in a place that made me feel like I’d taken several steps backwards, I’d get down on myself and get racked with guilt. I’d not done this. I’d not done that. I’d done this.
But then I began to discover that sometimes God did some of the most amazing things in me while I was “stuck.” I began to wonder if God didn’t intentionally lead me into these stuck places sometimes. After all, I can never know His power in lifting me out of the mire if He never allows me to wander into it, can I? And sometimes we need to know the mud in our lives for what it really is, in ways we cannot when we’re blissfully flying over it.
I’ve learned some things these last few weeks. I’ve been humbled some more, which is a valuable thing. I’ve gained more practice in trusting that His grace and His forgiveness is there. I’ve exercised my truth-sword skills in fighting off lies that try to make me believe that reality is based on what I feel. (Because it’s not.)
But all the same, I want that closeness back! I want the wow-factor again. I want to be overwhelmed with who God is, not just know that He is still overwhelming. How do I get there again?
Perhaps I need to spend some time in personal worship. Come to think of it, those occasional thoughts I’ve been having have probably been Him, whispering a call to do exactly that. After all, my worship invites Him into my days.
Perhaps I’m stuck because I have not yet swallowed my hesitancy fear and obeyed Him in something I’m pretty sure He told me to do almost two weeks ago. After all, the devil and his temptations will flee only if I am submitting to God.
Or perhaps, wrapped up in both of the above is a simple truth. This is a season, and God is setting me up for a revelation that He knows I need to receive. So yes, I need to spend more time in personal worship. And yes, I must obey. But after that, I must simply wait. Wait on Him to move in my life in the way and timing that He chooses. After all, who am I to say that He must give me powerful revelations non-stop?
If I am His bond-slave, then I must still trust Him, even when I feel like I’m sitting along the side of a dusty, dry stretch of road. Regardless of whether I’m here because I wandered here myself or because He led me here…He knows I’m here, and He is just as much my God, my Savior, my Supplier, and the Lover of my Soul while I’m sitting here as He is when I’m snuggled up on His lap receiving comfort, or when I’m lost in the wonder of His presence or overcome with the power of His truths.
One of those truths is that He can still use me while I’m here. I saw Him do it last Friday. I was told He did it Sunday. That means that those thoughts saying that I have to be walking on water in order for Him to use me are lies…lies that are particularly powerful in times like these…lies that I need to become skilled at recognizing and fighting off.
And that reminds me of a mental picture I considered the other day. I was praying…asking God questions about this place I’m in and the new weaknesses I’ve seen which have humbled me. I honestly don’t know if this was His answer or not…but I wrote in my journal that I felt a little like I was being taken for a tour outside the walls of a castle. Inside that castle is peace and joy and the bliss of fellowship with the Lord of the castle. Outside is a battlefield. I felt like I was wandering through that battle while God was pointing out holes in my armor and the arrows aimed at it. Some of it was rather…shocking, actually. And yet, I recognized that He had blessed me immeasurably by pointing it out as He had.
There’s a lost world outside the castle. Our Commander needs warriors who know how to function both in deserts and amid fertile fields. Perhaps that is part of the reason that these seasons come.
Father, thank You for Your goodness that shows us what we must guard against. Your abundant grace that covers my mistakes. Your mercy that never ends and that turns my dusty roads into priceless training grounds. Your love that showers these things upon me, even though I don’t deserve them.
Thank You for…
217. Training grounds
218. Grace that covers holes in my armor, and
219. Love that points out what is aimed at me
220. Promises that are not based upon what I feel
221. Leading me, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, not to mention dry and dusty roads
222. Those tiny nuggets of truth, newly discovered in Your Word
223. This place I am in, because it will lead to
224. Future revelations
225. Grace that allows us to worship You and invite Your presence, despite dusty roads and jail cells
226. That Your peace remains inside me, even if I do let it get covered with clutter
227. For teaching me to recognize and fight the lie that I am useless in this place
228. Humility and the lessons that teach it
And more gifts that will stay quietly on my private list for now…