Monday, September 7, 2009

For but by His grace there go I...

For the past week I’ve been feeling such anger and frustration towards God. I don’t hear a lot of people feel this way about God, and I felt guilty because I dare did. The guilt did however not change how I felt or why.

Actually I didn’t really know why I was feeling this way.

I knew it had to do with a decision that I’ve made three months ago – a choice I felt was in obedience to a request from God; a choice that took (and would take a lot more) faith. I got out of a proverbial boat in my life. Now, three months down the line, it is not that exciting for me anymore. Instead I have started feeling subtle feelings of inadequacy, of being flawed. I began feeling like I was failing at the whole ‘thing’ of having faith. Then it progressed to feeling like I was failing at everything. I was busy letting God down...

I felt angry because I’ve been trying soooo hard, and it was as if God just wasn’t ‘coming to the party’. If nothing else, I needed Him to tell me why I had to step out of the boat three months before. I felt like I was slipping, and He couldn’t care to speak to me about what the hell I was doing, or where I was going. I didn’t take this step knowing all the answers. I took it because I thought God had a plan, and now, after all this time, I still didn’t know what it was.

I felt hurt and lost, as if God has just left me to my own devices. I felt lonely, deserted in the middle of nowhere; I felt forsaken, even though I know that God says He will never ever do that. I felt disappointed nonetheless.

At first I didn’t want to lead God on to thinking that something was wrong. Imagine that! Not wanting God – who knows everything – to know that something was wrong with me! I felt like I wanted to hide my failure from Him. With all my heart I didn’t want to disappoint Him and be like the Israelites who didn’t get their promised land. In my mind I dare not fail. More than anything I desire to see God’s plan for my life to be fulfilled, and now that He needed me to believe I was falling flat on my face.

Some of the promises that have been in my heart I’ve received as long as 12 years ago. Many days I’ve wondered whether I have not already ‘missed the boat’. Had I not taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way before and I was never going to live those promises anywhere in the future? I have often felt this anxiousness, and I really feel like this is a determining time in my life, and I was not ‘cutting’ it.

I eventually felt so frustrated that I wanted to swing my fist at God, shouting “speak to me, damit!” I started asking, “Did I do something wrong? Why are you ignoring me?” All the while I felt like I had really tried my best. There is nothing more that I could think of and still I didn’t have what I thought I needed: for God to tell me what I’m supposed to do next. (Along the way God had spoken to me about various things, but not the one thing I wanted to hear, therefore I felt that He was not speaking to me at all!)

In the midst of lying face down in the mud I became merciless towards myself – no room for error – and I basically viewed it as if that is how God was looking at me. I failed at having ‘enough faith’ and now I was angry at God for it.

Because of my perfection I find it very hard to make right with God. Isn’t it just more simple if you behave in such a way that you don’t have to apologize – I suppose in a perfect world this would be true – but the world is not perfect, is it?
In my relationship with God I felt like an old married couple who had an ugly fight. Initially I wasn’t quite on ‘speaking terms’ with God, but eventually I realized that I would rather swallow my pride and mend our relationship – l loved Him too much, and I missed Him, no matter how much it hurt.

So I came near the only way I know how: real and honest (asking that God would show me what the real reason for my anger towards Him was), and He did.
Works of the flesh equals frustration (Joyce Meyer). I have been trying really hard.... in my own strength.

I felt like He had abandoned me, but all along I was on my own ‘faith mission’, trying so hard, that I didn’t really involve Him anymore. We weren’t doing it together. He says that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. He never expected me to do it on my own...

I wasn't just obeying God anymore. I was trying to earn God’s showing me the details of His plan, like winning a prize. It was me pushing too hard, demanding too much. God is all too well aware of the fact that I have limitations. Was I going to be humble enough to admit it to myself, and ask for God’s help? Imagine not wanting to tell God that you’re struggling because He might think less of you. Where on earth (on anywhere else in the universe) would you expect to go for help?! At this point I realized that it was actually very serious.

But watching the way in which God has again lovingly corrected me – not with condemnation – just amazes me again how much He cares. I cannot resist love like that. I don’t want to. Instead I want to be as close to it as I possibly can – not for trying to earn it, but for accepting that He knows I’m not perfect and He is still accepting of me like no one else can or will ever be!!

Lord, forgive me for being so proud and wanting to be so strong and able, even for You, that I would think that I need to do things without You. Without You I am nothing. How can I even remotely feel or think otherwise. Forgive me for trying on my own. Help me to walk this road with You – together. Give me enough faith that we might achieve whatever it is that You have in mind with this journey. Help me to remember that Your grace is sufficient for me, and that it shows up best in my weakness; to remember that it is not about me being fallible/imperfect, but about You being glorified in me and through me as God, and that nothing can separate me from Your love!

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