Friday, September 12, 2008

Atypically Transparent

I'm at a weird place in my faith.

I've gone to church and loved God as long as I can remember, and as an adult have chosen to actively pursue a deeper faith and a closer, more personal relationship with Him. As part of this process, I've made sincere efforts to cut things out of my life that would get in the way of that, stemming from a desire for simplicity, good stewardship, and a clear focus on things that truly matter.

I've determined not to look for satisfaction in possessions or hobbies, but to enjoy the abundant "life to the full" that Jesus talks about in John 10:10. There's an indescribably sweet sense of purpose and fulfillment that comes with the experience of God working through you. And I learned, while living out of a backpack for a year as a traveling missionary on the World Race, that no creature comfort can compare with that.

There's just one problem. 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!

I have so many thoughts elbowing one another:

- How selfish is it to want to feel content (at peace)? Can I / should I expect that?

- Is this experience right or normal, or, where have I gone wrong?

- Why isn't God answering my questions?

- What if I AM missing something, and in my attempts to find that, make things worse?

- How can I separate loving God from loving to serve God from loving serving God? (that question made sense to me... I hope it does to you too)

Obviously, somewhere among my assumptions, expectations, and choices, I've made a wrong turn. And, like a little girl who's hit a dead end in a maze, I must now backtrack until I encounter a new path to explore.

Ultimately, I trust that God will work through this for some kind of breakthrough. And I will be oh, so much better for it. But in the meantime, I shall continue to lean on Him for strength and patience, and believe that He will fulfill Paul's prayer for the Romans in my life as well:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13


Jeff said...

If anything, we desire not enough, not too much. I love what CS Lewis says: "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Jeff Goins said...

quoted you in my blog today: