I've heard a lot of people moan and complain about God being "distant". Back during my BSU days - I recall it being quite spiritually vogue for the speaker at a special event or worship service to just:
"...shut things down. Let's even stop the music. Just stand and concentrate on God's presence...right here among us..."
I don't recall ever being in one of those moments in a service that I didn't get tickled or poked by someone who was trying to get me tickled (not a difficult endeavor at all). It's funny to look back at what spiritual giants we supposed ourselves to be - at age 20. Good grief.
My problem, especially as of late - is not His distance. I feel like He's on a campaign to bug me to death. Not full blown nausea conviction (I guess He knows I really need to keep a job - and have great difficulty enduring that kind of conviction without a bawling fit.) No - it's like the person poking me while I tried to keep my eyes closed and head bowed and think only about God. The Lord Himself keeps poking me.
When I least expect it - I feel his finger on my shoulder...
"Listen, really listen to what is being said. But look in her eyes and see the pain before you blow up".
"You could not imagine what that little boy endured before he ever got on the bus this morning. He's being a pill, yes. But just stop the lesson and sing a fun song. Take My challenge to put a smile on his face before music class is over'.
"Stop what you're doing and think. Think about how this will affect your health. Count the cost".
"We've got to deal with this issue in your life, Sandy. When are you going to turn your heart toward Me and let us really talk about it? Come, let us reason together..."
"How many comments will your brothers and sisters have to make about your writing before you do it again? Are you ever going to really use that gift for My glory? Or just pick it up and fiddle-fart around with it for a few weeks when there's nothing better to do?"
And yes - it's entirely reasonable that the Lord would use the words "fiddle-fart around" when referring to me. Anyone who knows me well knows that the phrase could well have have been created ESPECIALLY for me. It's one of my spiritual gifts.
Don't worry that I have aspirations to write another "Jesus Calling" devotional that tells you what Jesus is saying to you today. That book bugs the snot out of me. I just don't think I (or anyone else, by the way) has the right to tell you what Jesus is saying to you for the day - and it be something THEY wrote or even compiled. Just my opinion. (you're going to get a lot of that.)
I've never heard God speak to me in an audible voice. But I've had coincidences happen in my life that canNOT be explained away. And then there are these pokes and prods constantly in my heart that I KNOW are from Him - because there is no good in me. If I have a thought that is good - it's Him. And even as bruised as I feel lately from all the poking - I am so thankful.
So thankful that He bugs me to death. So thankful that after the first 9,659 times He tries to prick my heart about an issue and I quickly find something fun to do to shut out His voice - He doesn't say, "Whatever. Have it your way."
Oh my sweet Lord. "Having it MY way" is the source of the majority of the pain, shame, regret, and brokenness in my life. This life ain't Burger King, boo. "Having it your way" will not inspire a catchy little song (I still know all the words to that, by the way). "Having it your way" will steal away every song in your heart and leave a barren wasteland of silence.
Several weeks ago I picked up a Bible study on "fear" that I started and never got past the second chapter. (Fiddle-farting around, exhibit A) On one of the first pages, I had to list the three things I most feared in my life. Three things that I thought had the power to destroy me. Here was my list:
1. That Matthew will leave me and go live in Georgia to live with John and Colleen.
2. That we will have to move out of our house.
3. I'm not telling this one.
I'm REALLY not telling it. So don't ask.
But guess what? In the past three months, every single one of those things has happened. Every. Single. One.
And guess what else?
It's ok. I'm ok. Grace is ok. Matthew is ok. It's been a nightmare of raw emotions, confusion, rage, bawling fits, and paralyzing hurt. But it's ok.
I have been held in the palm of the Hand who created me. And I've felt it. My soul sister would disagree - since she is that one person everyone has who hears all the bad. All the trash. All the bawling - and then has to endure a Facebook post the next day where I'm being all funny and "ain't life grand" and I'm sure she wants to drive up and strangle me. But she doesn't.
And He doesn't give up on me or strangle me either. He's given me MUCH more than I can endure. But the key is that HE is enduring it for me. His love and provision are in every little poke. Reminding me to remember what should be in the absolute front of my brain constantly. Fix your eyes on Me.
The pokes about my writing are REALLY getting to me. I need to do this. I'm never sure why - but it's just in me and needs to come out. If I can inspire one person with my ramblings - it's honestly worth it.
During my junior year at Ruston High - I took Creative Writing with Mrs. Ree Pearce. More than 500 times during that semester long class, she pulled me aside to say, "You have a gift, Sandy. Always, always, always keep writing. Never stop." Now that she is in heaven - I've imagined her being the driving force behind all the "write again pokes". I'm sure there is absolutely no Biblical basis for this - but it just seems like something Mrs. Pearce would make sure got taken care of by the Almighty.
I love every one of you who begged me to start blogging again. Gonna have to change the name here - since the crew has relocated...
...but for now - this is the news from Pizza Hut Heights.