For the last 6 months or so I’ve struggled with my relationship with God in a way that is hard to explain. But I will try. He seemed near but not interested, sovereign but not loving, majestic but not personal. At least that’s how I felt he was.
Talking to God is difficult when you think he isn’t paying attention. I basically prayed because my head told me it was good and useful. Which is true. But it wasn’t bringing me any closer to him. I have my quiet time first thing in the morning after I’ve taken a shower. Every morning was greeted with a sense of dread. I have no idea why. I knew God had blessed me with a great job and amazing people in my life but for some reason I felt this sinking feeling and insecurity. I longed for my student days when I felt God in everything and believed that anything was possible. It’s hard to address something when you don’t know what it is so I just kept having my quiet times – reading my bible and praying for something that I couldn’t identify. Now don’t get me wrong, reading the bible and praying is always a good idea. It wasn’t the praying that was the problem, it was my heart or however you choose to describe the deepest corners of yourself. I saw God as something of a mean principle who saw all my mistakes and counted them so they could be punished.
During the last 2 – 3 months however God’s really opened my eyes all over again, partly through a course from my brother’s church in Brisbane, partly through my private quiet time and prayer. I think I had been building up to this point, but one morning I just realized again that God loves me, not because of what I can do for him, just because that’s who he is. I was so free to just be and tell him everything that was inside of me, good bad and embarressing. I really felt like the lost son who found his way home to a father, waiting for him with open arms. And what I got in return was peace, joy and more love for him. Those aren’t just pretty words from the bible by the way. God’s love is so real, as real as anything you can experience. And it’s freed me up to dream again and wait in anticipation for what God’s gonna do next.
I’ve found the fire that marked what I would call my “early discipleship years”, the time when I saw that anything was possible with God. Yes, I still make mistakes that drive me up the wall. I still struggle with certain aspects of God and my relationship with him. But I can run straight to my father who knows me and makes sense of nonsense. It is just so incredibly liberating. I wish I could sum it up in words, and although the song “I so desire” by Doxology puts it very well, like Paul said, this peace is above our understanding.
I SO DESIRE
It doesn’t matter whether others see
The ever journey that You’re taking me
I’ve never been so bound but yet so free
Your voice so gently, gently guiding me
And kingdoms come and kingdoms fall away
Beyond Your truth there’s nothing that holds sway
Beyond the rules of may and what not may
Your arms are there to always stay my way
I’m loved here, always
Forever and ever
I so desire You still
In You I have my fill
Shape me, hold me, break me
Guide me, use me, send me
All I want is You
I will exalt you oh my God and king
and bless your name forever I will sing
for great are you and greatly to be praised
your mercy over all that you have made
You’re loved here always
forever and ever
Every other thing right now seems vague
But You are real