It's almost funny, really. I so wanted to write this blog post yesterday, but as much as I tried, it wasn't ready to come.
This wasn't the way I dreamed of writing it; slumped in a pool of despondency. But it's now I believe I'm s'posed to try and write it.
It's almost funny. But I'm depressed. So it's not.
So Lord, do Your best with this. Cause it's not going to be mine. And maybe that's why You wanted me to wait until now.
Prayer and Bible reading are meant to be a way of life for a Christian. But they aren't an instantaneous desire, springing up and flowering as soon as you become a Christian. They're called a discipline for a good reason. It's hard to create and maintain a discipline - particularly for disorganised, spontaneous people like me.
Recovering from the blow in February through to the beginning of April has taken me until now to start a degree of healing on, but God has been wonderfully sweet and close and started - once again - wooing my heart back.
Recently, He's renewed the desire (and growing in intensity) to draw close to Him - to pursue after Him, to dwell in His presence. But God created man in His own image.
Two Scriptures of seeming opposites have always stood out to me; "Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!" in Isaiah 45:15 and "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart," in Jeremiah 29:13, Deuteromy 4:29 and 1 Chronicles 28:9.
Ya'acov Prasch teaches that when God says something once, it's important. When God says something twice, it's very important. When God says something three or more times, it's some of the most important things He wants us to take note of.
God's assuring us that we will 100% find Him if we look for Him with all our hearts. But, He is a God Who hides Himself.
When you're starting a relationship with someone, you start to open up to them, but cautiously. You want to see if they really want to get to know you for who you are, or if they are only happy to take a few things about you and create a pre-conceived image. So you let out little bits at a time, keeping back the majority, waiting and seeing.
That's what I mean by God created us in His image. I think God is a little like that, and that is how He hides Himself. Never mind that there is an infinity of wisdom and character that we could not comprehend this side of eternity! :D
Yesterday, we got back from a walk in the park. I was tired. It was a hot day. I had only a few short hours to do internet work in. I wanted to write my autobiography. I thought about going out on a prayer walk, but decided to tell the Lord all of the above reasons why I couldn't go.
I've not really seen a good marriage in working action around me. Therefore, a lot of my marriage-relationship experience will be based off God's and mine.
Suddenly, I thought about the guy I love. If he walked into the room right then and said to me, "Come on, Sian, let's go for a walk and spend some time together talking," I'd be out of my seat like a shot. Forget tiredness, forget heat, forget the self-imposed workload. All of that would vanish in the joy of getting to spend time with him and - oh boy! Him wanting to spend time with me!
I admit to a feeling of shame at my ready willingness to go with the one and my avoidance of spending time with another. Just because God spends time with me ALL the time doesn't mean we don't need time out together. Every couple does. Every friendship needs even the occasional dose of dedicated time and attention.
Closing down my laptop, I grabbed my jacket and set out for my favourite spot. (If you know me, you know my prayer walks usually take me to some wide open green space with trees, grass and a big expanse of blue sky. :P)
Couple of random thoughts hit me as I went down the road. God is the only guy in the world Who wants to go on a date with me simply because He loves me and actually wants to hang out with me and develop a relationship with me!
Also, He is completely silent. Which was kinda embarrassing to know that He wanted me to go and spend time with Him simply so I could rattle everything off my chest, and here I was going no.
The sweetest realisation came when I thought about normal prayer times - I spend intense concentration on per person, each problem. This time is so I can randomly talk about everything dearest to my heart that is hurting or bothering or I'm happy about.
I came back home feeling like the time had been too short. There was an ache in my heart of more that I wish I could've said. And even though His warm presence was very close, I still want to yank aside the veil and step into His full presence. But I'll have to wait for eternity for that. It's only a short while away.
Carissa and I became Prayer Warrior Sisters about a year and a half ago. I fear my end of it has been upheld far less than hers, as I've watched her grow into God in this particular area. God placed a call on both of our hearts towards prayer after reading "Intercessor" by Norman Grubb - a biography of the prayer warrior Rees Howells, who fought for Britain through prayer during the Second World War, at the cost of his life.
As God's been calling me back to Him - again - the burden to pray increases. So does the guilt of realising exactly how many times I casually say, "Oh yeah, I'll pray!" and then, if I don't right then, completely fail to remember.
Prayer isn't just a random "oh yeah I'll pray for that. " it's a constant pursuit of "Lord, what do You want me to pray for this week? What is Your heart for me to pray? "
If you make a commitment to prayer - keep it. Commitment isn't too serious a word to use. In light of this, I bought my third prayer notepad - a place to jot down names and prayer requests.
Sometimes one of my unsaved friends come to me and say, "I want you to pray for this or that. You're the professional." It hurts. :P It's not a profession. Anyone can come to God. If you seek Him, you will find Him. IF you search for Him with ALL your heart.
As usual, Satan doesn't like letting go without a fight. Not only have I been unaccountably down the last few days and struggling with random tears, but strong memories of my dark past started randomly springing into my head, causing my weakest area and me to be enveloped in another struggle I don't even want. Plus outside...influences psychologically played havoc due again to part of my past, leaving me more sensitive than usual to verbal comments. Which then got me more down. Which then made my Mom feel down. Which made me feel worse. Y'all know how that goes. *small grin*
I've blogged along as I've gone, from the return from backsliding when God taught me, through loving one man, His Love, which then expanded into unconditional love for others. I've explained how He's teaching me to trust - through trusting someone, to trust Him, and through trusting Him, to trust that same person - and how that requires faith.
We've moved onto a new section of it now. Surrender.
*laughs softly* God is using one human to teach me these lessons - the guy He taught me to love. I'm so blessed. :)
I thought I'd surrendered him. Over and over for two and a half years, I've prayed for God to teach me how to love him, how to let go, to do what's best for both of us regardless of me. But I didn't realise that I was still hanging on, scared to let go. Scared that if I completely gave him to God, he'd be taken away, vanished like everything else I once held dear.
Then my sister Laura Jenkins wrote this on surrender. (Please, read it.)
Full and complete surrender. I was giving him to God and still being upset or disappointed when things didn't go the way I wanted. I was trying to do a deal. And God doesn't do deals. He asks us to let go completely, a living sacrifice.
I knew it was coming. The eventual letting go. But I didn't want to while I did. Partly because I was scared that I'd only be doing it to get what I wanted back. And yet, there's never a guarantee of that.
So one day, on my prayer walk, I asked God, "Lord, make me willing to be willing to surrender."
Although I'm still constantly struggling with grabbing on and tugging everything back. God's placed me in a position where I cannot kick, whine, scream, cry, demand. Even my tears do nothing but He sees them and He only asks that I give them to Him too. As the wise Elisabeth Elliot said, "Even loneliness is material for sacrifice." He asked for my dreams. My hopes. And I try and plan to live as now, for good, while being open to anything He does.
It's hard to explain. I'm barely starting to touch the surface of understanding this. And it's a cross of beautiful pain.
Full surrender is continual surrender.
It's kinda funny how it's tied up with faith and trust.
God started teaching me trust. I had to have faith to trust. And now to surrender, I have to have faith and trust! Isn't He amazing?
God is sweet.
And pain can be turned into beauty, when given to God for His glory.