Here’s a question for you. What do you do when you feel disconnected from God? Lately our family has been experiencing some…difficulties, and the tone of my last two posts have reflected such. When I opened my notes for the next step in the relationship-building process, they were about feeling unplugged and about what I was doing to try to “jack back in” (to steal a term from The Matrix). It’s funny how writing these notes a few months ago are even more relevant to what we’re going through today.
Back to the question at hand. What do you do? Some people spend long hours meditating and praying. Others ask what they’re doing wrong and try to bargain their way back into God’s good graces…”Father, if you can please deliver me from this, I’ll never do that again.” The answer to the question is that there is no one answer. What works for Ted may not work for Mary, and vice-versa. For the sake of this blog, and what I feel God wants me to share, I’ll give you my solution.
The day I wrote this, I was really struggling to hear God. I was only hearing myself. Let me explain. Things were much better in my life since I had begun this journey. Lena and I weren’t arguing. We were paying our bills a week late instead of a month. The kids were well. And so on and so forth. I found myself thinking of what I could do with this blog…what it could become. A book, maybe. A self-help infomercial seen at 3:00 am…might sound extreme, but you never know what you’re capable of unless you try :). These thoughts culminated in wanting to get up in front of the congregation at church to share the wonderful story of what God was doing in my life. I envisioned a church full of people praising and shouting “Amen!” at God’s work, Now, I wasn’t so consumed in these thoughts to recognize that they weren’t coming from God. Every time I had one, I checked it with, “That’s not how God would want this to be.” I instead reminded myself that God will take it wherever HE wants it to go.
This went on all day long. What I realized was that the more successes you have in life, the more human nature turns us inward. The more we grow in Christ and become successful, the greater the risk that we forget to give thanks and glory where it’s due. We begin to think to ourselves, “Man! Look what I’m accomplishing now!” or “I’m finally getting it! My life is finally getting on track!”. No…you’re not. God is giving it to you. You’re getting things done through God’s grace. Your successes, and even your failures at times, are God-given…
“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of Your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of Your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. In Your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am Your servant.”
This was the verse in my planner that day. I had begun to follow what I believe is God’s will for my life. And that really ticks Satan off. I persevered and continuously reminded myself that I’m trying to follow Him. That is my solution. The more you feel disconnected, the more you try to reconnect. Take the time to talk to Him. If you’re driving in your car, talk to Him. If you’re at your desk at work, talk to Him. If you’re standing at your ironing board ironing clothes, talk to Him. Eventually, you’ll find Him. He’s there waiting for you to reach out to Him. He never goes anywhere…we’re the ones that stray from the path He sets our for us. When you give it to Him to lead you, whether things are going great or you’re about to lose your house, car or even your life, you’ll never go wrong.
That night, Lena was in immense pain from the foot surgery. On top of that, because of all the crying she was doing, she developed a pounding headache. She had agreed with me earlier at dinner that she felt disconnected as well. After the kids went to sleep, we got into bed ourselves. She laid her head on my chest, and I began to pray out loud. I thanked God for His awesome power in our lives. I thanked Him for our blessings, both seen and unseen. And I then prayed for peace to wash over us so we could sleep. I woke up only once during the night, and I don’t think Lena woke up at all.
When I wrote the notes for this entry, Lena was still asleep. I woke up the next morning recharged and refreshed. When I had read this scripture to Lena, she said, “It’s not what we did, it’s what He did.” As I look back on that, that has a lot of different meanings. I hope you take whichever is meant for you and run with it. For me, it means that no matter what I do in my life and no matter where I may go, God is my way, truth and light. If I continue to strive to follow Him and let Him lead me in all things, my footing will be firm. For Lena, I think she took it at its base meaning…God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cross for you and me.
How can someone who loves us that much EVER steer us wrong?