15 Nov
Beauties of God - Week 8

What a difference some days make! I had a tough time being joyful last week. God was answering prayers and revealing His power to me, yet I chose to remain in a shadowy state of complaint. My heart still aches, but I’ve managed to control some of my tears (not all). There’s only a slight force of smile now and my laugh has once again become genuine. I found myself not only wanting to be productive in keeping busy this week, but also a satisfaction in decently doing so. Christ gifted me with a peace after being bad-tempered, but it wasn’t a peace that took all my hurt, fear, or questions away. It was more of a peace that brought appeasement.

There were many things I actually enjoyed doing these past seven days. Even personalities or situations that would normally bother me had no impact on my mood. I kept a very even type of temperament throughout the week and nothing was too expressive, but nothing was too sheltered either. I have to say it was a pretty good week… But in terms of praying, I wasn’t too hot.

I don’t think many nightly prayers were said and I even told God in my letter this week (the one and only) that I just didn’t feel like talking. However, I did notice something strange (at least I thought it was). I noticed that twice this week waking up, during a state of not fully awake but not quite asleep, I already seemed to be thinking (dare I say praying?). My thoughts were already in motion as my mind awoke, but I hardly knew where they were moving. I wasn’t able to capture those thoughts or even concentrate on them, but it would have been nice to identify what was so importantly sending me off to the races. The only thing that I can assume is that the Holy Spirit was praying on my behalf. God knew my heart wanted to commune with Him regardless of what I had told Him. Praise God for that! While I’m resistant, He’s still working, both this week and last, both now and forever.

I did think a lot about God this week and I spent some time getting to know Him through other people’s thoughts, along with the daily Word. Finishing one book on prayer and starting another on following God, I got to spend some time with the Almighty. Time that I’m grateful for and time that I was interested in. Despite the truth behind that time, I somehow felt disconnected this week. Not distant or missing, but out of sync. I never felt like the Lord wasn’t with me, I never felt like I was empty, but I did feel separate. Could this have been because my prayers were limited?

A good friend of mine paid me a long over due visit this week. I hadn’t seen her in about a year and I was happy we finally got to sit down together. During our time she told me that she felt like she wasn’t doing something right, as if she was missing something because other people seem to talk to God so freely, other people seem to really be loving the Lord, excited about just knowing Him. She told me that she had no problem telling others about the wonderful graces of God, the things that He’d done for her, or the trust they should put in Christ as their Savior, but then she told me that she didn’t feel it herself. She told me that she felt like a hypocrite. My friend asked me what she was missing, why she wasn’t feeling excited, why her mind was drifting from the comforting riches that only God could provide, and instead harboring thoughts of loneliness, dread, and fear.

Wow! I did my best in the topic of conversation, but it was hard for me to hear those questions. They were hard because I have them myself and because my friend is 65-years-old. This is a woman whose faith has been present for over two decades (possibly three or four). I’ve known this woman more than a few years now and never once would I have guessed she felt so fake. She’s been an inspiration to me in my walk and fully willing to sacrifice herself for the benefit of others. She is a woman after God’s own heart! So why then, how then, could she feel like the Lord wasn’t enough for her, especially when she knows He is? That was one of the toughest questions I think we discussed and one that underlined all others. How come we feel like our relationship with God isn’t enough? I’m not talking just about the ways we feel we could be doing more for His kingdom but also in the ways that we feel loved or fulfilled. After hours of conversation, I still have no satisfying answer to that. I know I’ve had that same conversation countless times, with countless people, in all positions of faith, and that makes me sure it’s normal to feel that way. However, knowing that answer still doesn’t make it satisfying.

I think it’s strange… perhaps the better word is miraculous, that everything my friend wanted to talk about was something I myself had recently been feeling. It’s as if God was saying to both of us that it was okay to feel all that we had but that we needed to stop looking at other people to be critical of ourselves. We need to stop looking at what we think others have with Lord and live in the reality of what we both individually do. What we all do.

Sometimes we don’t hear God, sometimes we don’t feel excited, sometimes we feel like we aren’t doing anything right, or as if we could be doing more. Sometimes we feel disengaged or absent, empty or hypocritical, lonely or fearful. All those things are normal, all those thing are understandable, and all those things add to the beauty of God.

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