J. M. Richards' items Go to J. M. Richards' photostream


I can finally breathe...

I was challenged this week by a spiritual "mentor" of mine (via podcast) about how sometimes in the pursuit of honesty and authenticity and our struggles, we often neglect to talk about times when God comes through for us.
After all, he said, "Intimacy with God is The Point. It's meant to be normal."
He also talked about how often the church turns a blind eye to spiritual warfare, and it's really crippling us. I have to agree with him there. We act like toddlers who cover their eyes and think that by so doing, make everything disappear. I've talked a little about spiritual warfare in the past on here. And the thing is, even though I know it's real, I don't always like dealing with it, either.

But I got hammered at the end of the week. Spiritually speaking. Yesterday I was completely overcome with the frustration I've been describing lately. I just keep asking God to show me where He wants me, what He wants me to be doing. Because I don't think the place I am is the place I'm meant to be anymore. So I keep waiting and listening.

And it occurred to me that maybe the silence is because of a spiritual attack I'm under. One author who talks a lot about warfare says to look at the fruit of the situation. He uses John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. So Jesus says very clearly that there IS a thief, and he is on a mission. Jesus came to bring us vibrant, abundant life; our enemy comes to steal that life away from us and instead bring death and destruction. I don't know about you, but to me that makes a lot of sense of what I see going on in the world today.

Yet despite my own acknowledgment, I'm often afraid to deal with the warfare in my life.

My friend E lent me a copy of the new Anberlin CD...there's a song on it with a line that goes:
"How can you expect to win this war, if you're too afraid to fight?" (Soft Skeletons)

I was listening to it in the car, and the line stuck out to me, and I thought, that's a really good question. As it happened, today I was giving her a ride home and we ended up talking about kinds of things. It started out being about warfare, and ended up being about just navigating this Christian life in general.

It was exactly what I needed. As I'm constantly, humblingly reminded, I'm simply unable to stumble through this life on my own strength. (Sara reminded me of the U2 song, "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own," which is so true.) I need to hear stories of other people's struggles and triumphs and hopes and passions. And I love it when I post something here on this blog and friends and strangers respond, and I know I'm not alone. I want to continue to be honest about life's ups and downs, how it's often a struggle.

But I also want to be faithful. I know God's doing something in my life, even if I can't see it yet. If nothing else, today's conversation was a reminder that He does still care about me. And I'm not alone in my searching and my passions. I still have no idea what my next step is. But I have to believe that whatever it is, He'll show me eventually! In the meantime, I'm trying to find a measure of contentment right where I am.

This is surrender
To a war-torn life I've lived.
Scars and stripes forever
In need of change I can't resist...

This long of a struggle
Finally opened up my eyes.
Revolution's not easy
With a Civil War on the inside.

No need to hide anything anymore.
Can't return to who I was before.

I can finally breathe.
Suddenly alive.
I can finally move.
The world feels revived.
(Anberlin, Breathe)

Oh, and, one more thing. God, in His infinte sense of humor, and knowing my penchant for good stories (TV is a current fave source), just got my attention thorugh an episode of Samantha Who?. I just watched the second ep of the season, and she starts out saying,

I didn't remember ever seeing a rocket launch, so I tuned in the other night. But it was delayed.
There it was, all this power and potential, just waiting for a sign, and instruction.
And I shouted, "I understand, rocket! I understand!" (Woke my neighbor up.)

After an episode filled with her usual misadventures of her old nature clashing with her new life & desires for change (a rather apt parable at times!) she concludes by saying:

Okay, so my dentist has this ' fun facts' poster in his office. And did you know, a rocket has to go 25,ooo miles an hour to get into orbit?....25,ooo miles an hour. That's a lot of force keeping us right where we are. ...I'm like those rockets, those early rockets, who tried, you know, and sometimes they failed, but there was progress!

Well put. I guess God can use anything to speak to us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you're right about spiritual warfare, it isn't a topic Christians really discuss very often. There are so many things going on and we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. It really puts things into a new perspective. I LOVE YOU!