I think that one of the hardest things about being who I am– a pastor’s kid, a Christian school graduate, a Bible college graduate, a pastor’s wife– is the fact that I know all the so-called right answers to all the spiritual struggles I face in my daily life. I know them in my head, I mean. The journey from head to heart is a surprisingly long one.
It is so easy to tune out and take the Word of God for granted.
So easy to internally roll my eyes at the precious truths of Scripture, because I’ve heard it all a million times before.
So easy to let the words fly through my brain and never realize that they have the ability to change me.
Recently I have come to a place in my walk with God where I have been reminded how easy it is to quote verses at people and how very, very hard it is to live those verses out in my daily life. I have prayed for God to change my heart, to do what it takes to make me like Jesus, and in that process He has led me into a valley of discouragement and even depression. When I said whatever it takes, this isn’t what I was picturing.
I have tried to be real on this blog, tried to share my journey as God has deepened my faith. I have tried to share my struggles so that those who read these words can know that there is hope for real people with real problems. Sometimes the truth has been painful to share, and sometimes I have felt like I was so vulnerable that I might be sick.
I don’t want to stop now. I don’t always understand why God has me writing in this dusty old blog on this tiny corner of the internet, but I believe He wants me to do it, and I believe He wants me to share what is true.
Today what is true is that the only thing I want to do is to sleep. Today what is true is that it is taking every bit of energy I have to live my life right now– to teach my kids, to clean my house, to make meals, to be a wife and a mom and a friend. Today what is true is that I feel weaker in my spiritual life than I can ever remember feeling.
The enemy of my soul has me in his crosshairs right now, and I find myself being assaulted almost every moment by lies and twisted truths, doubts and fears and temptations. I have given in far too many times.
The adoration part of my prayer life has seemed like a mockery as I strive to see the goodness of the Lord. I read Psalms and seek to pray them back to God, to pour my heart out in worship, to bless the Lord at all times. It feels like hypocrisy, yet I am commanded to praise, and so I try, and I pray for God to be glorified in the worship of a broken and weak child.
This is what is true. I am very weak. Everything seems so hard. And I am sharing this today, even though it makes me feel a little sick to let down my guard, because Paul said he boasted in his weaknesses and gloried in his infirmities. Is this even possible? Paul was no superChristian. He was a man, a man who found in his weakness a deeper, richer access to the strength of God.
And I want that. So desperately.
Because what is even more true than my brokenness is God’s grace abounding in every broken place. What is even more true than my weakness is the glorious, mighty power of God. Whether I see it or not, whether I feel it or not, what is true is that there is nothing that can separate me from the love of God that it is in Christ Jesus my Lord. What is true is that the Holy Spirit has been given to me as my Comforter, the One who comes alongside me when I am stumbling, and that He will never leave me.
What is true is that God’s grace is sufficient for me, right here, right now, when all the truths seem trite and my weaknesses feel like gaping holes that can never be filled. What’s true is that God has led me to this place, that He has a purpose for it, and that He will lead me out.
Isn’t this what faith is? Living the life I am called to live whether I can see or not? Pressing on, even when it feels impossible, even when it feels foolish? Refusing the cries of my flesh and my feelings and putting one foot in front of the other, tiny step by tiny step, until I see the glory again? Drawing near to God again and again and ignoring the lies that creep in, that say He doesn’t care, He can’t use me, He’s finally given up on me, He has turned His back on me?
That is a thing He will never do. He has promised, and He who promised is faithful.
Here is truth– I am weak, and when my faith is tested I despair and I complain and I give up.
Here is greater truth– my God is strong, and when my faith is tested He is always near me and He will bring me forth as gold.
Oh Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.