There are times in my walk with God when I just sit back and realize how very small of a grasp I have on who He is, when I’m just overwhelmed by the fact that I’m so incapable and incompetent and just plain small when compared to who He is and what He’s done. Usually, with these moments comes a time when I don’t understand what He’s doing, and I don’t understand why He’s doing it, and I get frustrated because I don’t have the wisdom or the patience or the faith to just believe and not doubt or struggle. I get angry because I just don’t have what it takes, or I just can’t do a certain something, or I just don’t have the brains or the eloquence or the education or the understanding to just get something. I get absolutely discouraged because I just can’t seem to focus, can’t seem to push through something without emotional upheaval, can’t just go onward in perfection and never falter or misunderstand or have any kind of doubt.
I find myself wishing I could do it by myself, wishing I could, just maybe, give and give and give of myself and of my resources and never be drained or exhausted, wishing I could just encourage and compliment and love and build up without ever being awkward or ever running out of things to say or ever doubting if they have any effect. I find myself wishing I wasn’t so helpless to change things and so impossibly immature in the way I so easily become frustrated or the way my faith is so utterly shaken at different times. I find myself wanting my faith to be perfect and strong and solid right now, and never change for the rest of my life. I just want to know what to do, not be emotional about it, and plow forward without a single doubt or question in my mind.
And yet something in me knows this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. I can’t do any of these things, not by myself. I can’t battle pride or fear on my own. I can’t create my own hope. I can’t heal my own heart by my own power. I can’t love simply by the exercising of my will. I can’t give of myself and expect to endure unless I have a foundation, a Storehouse, if you will, from which to give.
I can’t expect to be able to love people, to talk to people about Christ, to give of myself sacrificially, to not hold back in being vulnerable, in giving encouragement, in standing up against everything the world is trying to feed me via media, class materials, society, and even my classmates, in standing during the days when the battle is heavy….I can’t expect to be able to do any of this effectively if I’m not leaning on, depending upon, confident in, learning to be loved by, living under the perfect grace and protection of, being enclosed by the warm comfort of Christ. I just can’t do it without Him, and I don’t know why, for a single moment, I thought I could just will myself to spend time with everyone and will myself to not be affected by what they say and will myself to be strong enough to stand up on my own.
So, I realize I’m on a bit of a ramble, but this is what has happened: In this world, with its ever-changing passions and its lack of commitment, lack of determination, lack of understanding, promotion of everything wrong and sinful, I tried to go it on my own. I figured I had, to some degree, to face this on my own, had to be able to go out by myself and be cold and solidly unfeeling in everything I did so as to not be crushed by the overwhelming amount of unbelief that exists both around me every day as well as in my own heart.
But this, of course, led to my burning out and having a mini-spiritual crisis, which, of course, took me right back to the feet of the One I thought, though just for a moment, I could live without. Please excuse me while I sit down and feel like a complete doofus head. So, the lesson is that I can’t expect to do anything effectively, especially not involving other people, without remembering that Christ needs to be my foundation.
The other lesson I learned this week is that, yes, again, protein is important, and taking care of my body is kind of important 😛 especially during these next couple of weeks leading up to spring break.
I’m still struggling, as I study for midterms and have Bible Study and do all of the other wonderful things I must and love to do ( 😀 ), with trying to find the balance between doing my homework to the best of my ability and really focusing on my relationship with God, and falling into the mindset of striving for literary success. Even though I’m here as a writing major, my main purpose in life is not to be a writer. It’s to be with God, in communion with Him, to grow in Him, to glorify Him, and pursue His will as if it’s my own. I’m not here to beat out the competition and be successful, at least not by the world’s standard. It’s a fine line between enjoying writing because it’s a tool God uses to bring me closer to Him and to bless me continuously, and using it as an avenue through which I can climb the ladder in the literary world and exchange everything of God’s for everything of the world’s. Let’s just not.
Of course, as I get older, there’s a certain amount of pressure mounting to figure out the rest of my life and be “responsible” and know exactly what’s going to happen and have it all perfectly planned out. But I just don’t, because I’ve kind of gotten used to God changing my plans so often, switching locations, bringing people in and out, changing up circumstances, and challenging me in ways I never imagined that I’ve kind of given up on making any specific, solid plans for the future. Of course I have an idea of what I’d like to do, but He knows the plan; I’m following Him.
Another thing I was reminded of as of late is that this was never meant to be easy. Of course this is difficult. Of course the things God asks me to do are going to be hard, not because He’s messing with me or because He’s inconsistent but because He cares, because He doesn’t make weak soldiers, because He loves me, because He knows exactly what I need, when I need it and isn’t going to not do it because I might get uncomfortable.
I am so precious to Him, treasured and loved intimately and infinitely and wonderfully. He’s brought me so far and continues to bring me further still, and yet I merit none of it. He’s the One who knows me best and cares about me the most, the One who keeps me safe, the One who fights off the demons I just don’t know how to fight, the One who holds my heart, the One who never changes, who I can always run to when the world just doesn’t make sense, and when life seems like one big lie.
God is the real in a world of fake.