Have you ever gone through a period of time in life where you feel like God is silent? Have you ever found yourself frantic for answers in the midst of that silence? For me, this typically happens when I start to question, doubt, or feel like I must have fallen asleep when God turned over the next page because clearly now I am not on the same page as Him. Am I alone there or can I get about a million others raising their hands with me saying they've been there too?
It's not a pleasant feeling...feeling like you are gasping for air, grabbing at your friends for encouragement, comfort, or sympathy, wanting to look to God and in His Word for answers to your incredibly hard questions (because you know that's what you are supposed to do) but not having enough gumption or willingness or even energy to crack the Book open. Feeling like your anxiety, worry, and stress levels are about to blow your roof off. Those moments in life when you feel like you are quite literally stuck with two feet on the ground in a big ole' mess of thick mud and as much as you know you need to get out of that funk and get your soul back to the peace it is missing, you. just. can't. move.
It's not that you don't know the Truth that can set you free from that mud trap--you definitely know the Truth in your head, but because all your emotions are getting jumbled up in the mix of those thoughts, you can't seem to move past your doubts, anger, sadness, and dare I even say it--lies you are choosing to believe or act out of despite your knowledge of the Truth. All of this leaves you suffocating, lonely, desperate, clinging, and with a sense of hopelessness that for some reason you just can't seem to get yourself up by your own bootstraps and get on with life. Does any of this sound familiar? Have any of you been there before--for short periods of time, for long stretches of time? Well, I have. I have several times in life, but I have even been here this past month briefly...but the good news--no--the GOOD news, is that I'm not there now and I'm about to tell you why.
What I'm about to tell you will not prove that I finally have the answers I had been searching for. It will not tell you I now have the secret solution to never getting in that mud hole again. It will not make you see I was somehow transformed into a glowing face of perfection as God met me. It will not be the solution for you...or maybe it will be...it will not say that it IS the solution for you. What it will do is show you I am a work in progress just like you. It will show you that our God who loves us can handle big doubts and questions and anger and sadness and love us enough to not leave us there. It will show you that even though friends are wonderful tools for God to use, it is undoubtedly GOD who does the work in your heart, head, and life. It will show you that with each time we pass through this thick, dark, claustrophobic place in our life, God wants to birth something new and refreshing and life-giving in us and hopefully through us. Just as a baby has to live in a period of darkness and tightness and "nothingness" while it is developing and growing and getting life-giving nutrients, so too, we sometimes have to go through those places while God develops something precious in us. Just as that baby who has been alone in the dark is welcomed into this world with loving arms, so too, we will emerge from that dark and lonely place into the arms of a God who loves us more than anyone or anything ever could. My story over these past few weeks WILL tell you that, if you are ready to hear it.
So, are you ready? Are you chomping at the bit? Are you dying to know what happened? Are you really wanting to find your own feet free from that mud? Are you really wanting the questions in your head silenced? Are you really ready for the God of the Bible to speak to your lonely self at the most hurting and stuck place in your life?
In John 5:5-6 it reads, "One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Have you had these questions, doubts, fears, lies, struggles, stress, anxiety, whatever for long enough that Jesus is asking you the question, "Do you want to get well?"
If so, I hope you will keep with me here for a few days while I share my story. Until my next post, I simply ask you to really think inwardly and answer that question Jesus is asking of you, "Do you WANT to get well?"