I took this photo two days ago while sitting in my van in the school pick-up line. I uploaded it to Instagram with the caption, “In so many ways.” I realized as I sat there, not only was my van low on fuel but so was my stomach, my wallet, and then I delved deeper…so is my spirit.
Whoa, hold up! Who knew you could get all that from not having any gasoline?
If only I would do like David in Psalm 63:1-“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”
I am so thirsty for God and know that in order to get more of Him I have to give Him more of myself. Yet, each day I find myself not doing that exact thing. It’s usually just when life throws me a curve ball that I throw myself face first on the floor, and begin to pray and cry out to Him. I tend lately to cut off my emotions to everything, and that even includes God. It hurts too bad to be vulnerable, because once I go there with God I’m open to everyone. But isn’t that how we are supposed to be? I always tend to think of Jesus and how he never fought back when insults were hurled at him, yet so many times all I want to do is protect myself. Shouldn’t I let God do the protecting for me, while I’m open to what He has for me? I think the answers are yes, but that doesn’t make them easy.
This isn’t about ‘religion’ to me. Who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about me finding and growing a relationship with God. I’ve been around some people who could quote you the Bible cover to cover, and who knew all the right and wrong doctrines, yet they seem quite parched. Head knowledge mostly, with no real guidance from the One who came to save them. What good is all that knowledge without the relationship? It’s like dating someone and knowing all kinds of facts about them, but then never spending any time with them. Would that relationship last very long?
I sat in a pew for years and was given rules and regulations to follow, and not surprisingly religion didn’t work. Man made rules and even my own man made desires to change never did and never will work. I see that I have to turn to God first and He will change me, and it will be beautiful and it will last.
Change isn’t easy. I read Paul talking about how he suffers and how wonderful it all is, and I cheer him on. Paul makes sitting in a dark dungeon of a prison sound like it might be okay. The minute I start suffering I want to lament my problems to everyone and have them pat me on the back. Tell me it’s all okay. No human can actually tell me it’s all going to be okay, because they don’t have that kind of knowledge. Why do we always turn into a bunch of Moses following Israelites grumbling in the desert every time something goes wrong? We are like God’s biggest cheerleaders when life’s going right, but His biggest critics when it all goes south.
I am beginning to understand that all God wants is for us to be thankful. Everything we have is a gift from Him; breath, sight, a job, our family, shoes, running water…the list is endless. Even when life gets rough and turns into a desert, we can look back and see that there are so many things to be thankful for then and now, even the desert. If it wasn’t for the desert I wouldn’t have found God.
I want to start putting the fire into my relationship with God. I want to never cease to praise Him for all He’s blessed me with. Even when I don’t feel like it, or when I can’t see it and life hurts. I don’t want tragedy to always have to knock on my door before I find myself knelt down at the feet of the King!