March 26, 2010

The central idea of the great part of the Old Testament may be called the idea of the loneliness of God.

-G.K.Chesterton

by faith

"...the pattern that began with Abraham continued: Isaac married a barren woman, as did his son Jacob. The esteemed matriarchs of the covenant-Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel-all spent their best childbearing years slender and in despair. They too experienced the blaze of revelation, followed by dark and lonely times of waiting that nothing but faith would fill.

A gambler would say that God stacked the odds against himself. A cynic would say God taunted the creatures he was supposed to love. The Bible simply uses the cryptic phrase "by faith" to describe what they went through. Somehow, that "faith" was what God valued, and it soon became clear that faith was the best way for humans to express love for God."

[Disappointment with God, Phillip Yancey]

Years of silence. Dark and lonely silence and waiting, supplemented by stark, naked faith. They waited for God to fulfill his promises. They believed God. What I wouldn't give to talk to one of these women, to know how it felt to live a life that depended on an invisible God. I wish I could talk to Jacob, who wrestled a blessing out of God.

These stories are full of drama: messy people, trying to figure out what it means to worship an invisible God and walk with him by faith. I wonder how far removed they felt from their creator? I wonder how often following God actually made sense to them? I wonder if the wives ever rebelled...well, actually, we know that Rachel had idols that she brought from her father's home, right? I wonder what God thought of that...?

"Disappointment with God is not a puzzle awaiting solution...

...rather, it is a problem of relationship between human beings and a God who wants desperately to love and be loved by us...God doesn't care so much about being analyzed. Mainly he wants to be loved. Nearly every page of his Word rustles with that message...it's a relationship between a passionate God- hungry for the love of His people- and the people themselves. All feelings of disappointment with God trace back to a breakdown in that relationship."

[Phillip Yancey, Disappointment with God]

I think that this sheds a lot of light on the struggle of disappointment with God. It's not an intellectual issue. It's an emotional, relational issue that centers in the hearts of humans, and connects with the heart of God.

March 25, 2010

slightly disappointed

Just started reading this book. I am only a few pages in, but every word I read was just so refreshing and real to me.

I have officially declared myself to be in crisis. I don't know the scale of colors--you know, the scale that tells you how serious a crisis is--but I'm pretty sure that I'm an orange.

yep, orange seems to be the perfect color to describe where I am.

I'm ashamed to admit that I once saw a friend reading this book, and I remember thinking "Oh, shoot, he's probably really struggling."

Well, let's just say that struggling isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, we are encouraged to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. So I'm working it out. Slowly, painfully, and fearfully.

It's not that I don't love God. It's not even a lack of trust--not completely. I'm just at a place where I need somebody to be honest with me about following Jesus. Someone who's willing to be frank with me about prayer. Someone who can discuss some tough issues with me. My new friend Phillip seems to be the perfect person to dialogue with about this. So I embark on yet another journey--or rather, continue on the journey I have been on for quite some time--to figure out this whole Walking with Jesus thing.

March 6, 2010

change

I have felt kind of strange for a while now. I haven't felt like myself. I feel off, not quite right. This feeling of not-quite-rightness has been hanging over me for a long time...almost two years now. Two years is a long time to feel not like yourself.

I can't figure out what the deal is. I'm happy. I know what I want to be when I grow up. I have friends that love me, and an amazing husband. My relationship with my family is better than it has ever been. But sometime still doesn't feel quite right.

I don't feel it all the time...but at night, before I go to bed, I feel it. When my eyes fall upon my unused journal, I feel it. When I remember how happy I used to be in my walk with the Lord, I feel it. And I don't know why, but I just can't figure things out.

I feel like somewhere along the road, I changed. Something changed inside me, something shifted deep inside, and I haven't been able to catch my bearings ever since then. I don't know when it happened, or what happened...all I have is the weird feeling that hangs in the quiet places of my heart.

I used to love spending time with God. I used to be so close to Him. I used to go to Him for everything- happy, sad, good, bad. Now I don't know what I think. I don't know how to relate to Him. I don't know how to pray. I don't know how to be anything spiritual. I don't even feel like I have the capacity for spirituality anymore. I know that isn't true, but I feel like a secret switch got turned off, and I can't get myself to switch back into gear until I figure out what went wrong in the first place.

This is all very obscure and abstract, I realize. If you have any light to shed, please do share. Until then, I just keep hoping that my meager attempts to continue toward the Lord are somehow a part of this redemptive story God is weaving. One can only hope.