I think emotional people are something special. It’s a beautiful thing when we can use God’s gift of feeling to connect more deeply with the people around us and with the Lord Himself. However, while all human emotions are valid, sometimes we have to step back and remember that they aren’t our masters. Our Faithful Father is.
In the last few years, I’ve heard more and more sermons on not letting fear boss us around. The preachers talk about overcoming. Not letting what we’re feeling get the better of us. I’ve heard it from the angle of when it comes to being hesitant about taking another step forward. Heard it from the angle of excitement. Not letting the elation of the present moment cause a big jump into something prematurely.
The other day, I opened an article in my inbox addressing the topic of callings. Our response of frustration and impatience that usually comes from the people in the audience who struggle to figure out their calling. She wrote about the foolishness it would be to simply put our lives on pause. To just wait for God to bring this mysterious calling into the light. She wrote about His nature and how the loving God she knows would not just dangle a calling in front of you and tease you with it. This wasn’t even the point of the article, but it stood out to me more than anything else.
I’ve been stuck waiting. Not on a calling, but an answer. I’ve been listening for His voice. And lately it seems muffled, distant. I’ve put a lot of things on hold trying to figure out what my next move should be. Shuffled my feet. Scratched my head wondering why I can’t hear Him. I’ve wondered what I could’ve possibly done to make Him distance Himself from me.
We know this feeling of being lost. It’s familiar. Feels like hesitation to move forward. It feels like desperately longing for a map clearly marked with where to go next. Feels like loss of motivation. Wondering what we did to wake up in this wasteland.
Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?” – Jeremiah 23:23
Friends, I have good news. Your feelings get a seat at the table. But they don’t get to sit at the head. This place of frustration is justified. It’s valid. If we let it, it can be the bridge between the island we’re on and the shore where He waits. It can also become the suddenly appearing path away from His arms and deeper into the confusion. What we need is truth.
You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth.” – Psalm 119:151
The Lord is in this place. This is truth. Truth regardless of a feeling or a seemingly muffled voice. Or an apparent lack of instruction or direction. He doesn’t tease us. Making His voice clear one day and faint the next. He doesn’t hide out. Snickering out of a sort of malicious enjoyment from watching us wander around aimlessly looking for Him. God doesn’t disengage Himself to make us wonder what we did to make Him distance Himself. He is a Father of promise and of closeness. This is truth.
Come close to God, and he will come close to you. – James 4:8
When did we stop trusting in His nearness? In His faithfulness? In His control? Our feelings were never meant to be the toxic weapons driving the gap between us and our confidence in the Lord. Rather the bridge built in concordance with raw truth to draw us closer to Him in moments where it feels we are the most lost.
I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33