I submitted one of my recent posts, "Atypically Transparent" to Revelife (an online community about God, Love and the Christian Lifestyle), and I am pleased to announce they've included my piece on their site here.
Here's a snippet of what I originally wrote:
The more I've tried to devote myself to serving Him, the less I've experienced this 'feeling' of abundance, or even contentment, in my life. My theology says that God should be enough. That He IS enough. Yet, I'm having a lot of trouble reconciling that knowledge with the struggles that I'm facing. Despite my efforts to seek God and spiritual maturity, I feel like I'm missing something, and I don't even know what that thing is!
To solicit discussion, the Revelife folks added a question to the end of my post:
On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you feel like you're now in your faith- 1 being the weakest point and 10 being the strongest point?
Amazingly, the post has already been viewed 879 times and received 21 comments. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to see how many people have jumped in to encourage me and offer their prayers.
Here are some samples of comments by the Revelife readers:
"Peace isn't a reward for doing everything right and giving up possessions and being a martyr for God. It's about having a vulnerable heart and saying, "God, here's ugly old me. Let me hear you speak." And then just letting God take you through the fire."
"You don't have to be good for God to love you. Outward devotion doesn't equal peace. Ideally, our actions for God are meant to flow out of our love relationship with Him. He's your dad. If you want to, you can sit in His lap, get a hug from Him, talk to Him, feel His approval, or anything else you need. Ask Him and wait for His reply!"
"Sometimes we do so much ministry stuff, that we forget to spend time with God. We forget that God doesn't need us as if he was served by human hands. but that he is the giver and we are the receiver. We forget to acknowledge him before all things. We forget to include him in our daily activities. We forget that because of Christ our relationship has been restored, not because of anything that we have done, but because of who he is. He wants our love. He desires mercy, not sacrifice. Without him, darkness creeps in."
"God loves you. Never forget that. Even if you feel you are far from where you want to be...everything happens in its own season. Peace comes when you learn to accept yourself and your mistakes and trust God...it's a process, an ongoing one...be encouraged!"
"This is oddly the exact same thing that happened to me about a year before I left the church and no longer consider myself a christian. For years I suffered from depression and I would pray and ask god to fill me with the joy the bible says he gives to christians, and no matter who I asked they said things like god is using it to make me stronger and that sometimes he says no. I just didn't see how I could actually be a good christian, but have no way of showing that god was working in my life." (This one broke my heart)
"Go back to the basics. Just worship the Lord, in song, in the truth, in the Word, in His arms. Stop. Get in the presence of the Lord, be as Mary was... just sit at His feet. Don't get caught up in works or feelings, but get caught up in Him, because that's where the peace is from, that's where love, fullness, breakthrough, and all the good stuff comes from. We love because He first loved us. Rediscover that love, then the desire to do all the other stuff will follow."
Many thanks to my all my new friends over at Revelife; I've got some great thoughts to ponder here. God bless.