It’s easy to become frustrated and despondent. It’s easy to choose doubt and anger instead of faith. It’s easy to forget the times He showed up in the past and to instead dwell on the hopelessness of current circumstances.
I am guilty of this time and again. I can’t see what He’s doing, I can’t feel anything, and so I just begin to question Him. I ask the questions, “Where are you God?” and “How am I supposed to believe that you really, really love me?”
It’s hard to choose to pursue Him when you feel nothing. It’s hard to trust in Him when you don’t get to see the big picture of what He’s doing. And it’s hard to even speak to Him when you feel like you have no words.
Too often, walking with Jesus is painted as this wonderful all rainbows and sunshine and unicorns life. When in fact, it’s actually very difficult most of the time. Is it worth it? YES. 100% YES. Its so worth it and I would never choose to live any other way.
Yet, I think that too often as Christians, we feel this heavy need to always appear to be madly in love with Jesus. We want so badly for others to experience the love and peace of Christ that we force the appearance of being perfectly elated and content with our lives, even when, at times, we are not (because we are HUMAN). Dry seasons are a real thing. Sometimes, doubt creeps in. Sometimes, we feel distant from the Lord and we don’t know why. Sometimes we struggle to love others because we are struggling to fully believe that we, ourselves, are fully loved. Sometimes we get so caught up in our strivings to do all of these things “for God” that we forget that we can’t earn His love, it was already freely given to us.
I can’t speak for all followers of Christ. However, I myself, at least, struggle with all of those things.
Over the past 4 months I’ve felt overwhelmingly far from God. I kept on seeking Him and pursuing Him but still I felt nothing. I’ve had seasons of dryness before, but this time was different. The past few weeks my heart was so overcome with grief and hurt that I became angry with God. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t heard from Him or felt His presence in so long even though I was begging for it. I didn’t want to pray or read my Bible. The only words I could muster before shutting my eyes at night was “Jesus I need you.” That’s all.
But then, I let go of my pride and anger. I opened my Bible for the first time in weeks and this is what I read,
“But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there…
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young…
When that day comes,” says the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’
instead of ‘my master.’
O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
and you will never mention them again…
I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord.”
Tears welled in my eyes as I read, and re-read this passage. The book of Hosea is about a prophet (Hosea) who God tells to go and marry a prostitute. The prostitute leaves her loving and kind husband again and again for her other lovers who only use and abuse her. Every time she leaves God tells Hosea to go and get her back. This is to represent how God unfailingly pursues His people.
God just wants to be my Only One. He wants my undivided loyalty and love. He wants to be the center of my world. He wants my whole heart, not just parts of it. He wants to have an intimate and trusting relationship with me. He loves with a perfect and all consuming kind of love that never gives up and never stops pursuing.
But I am the prostitute.
I continually turn my back on Him and try to do things my own way or on my own terms. I get wrapped up in my own small little world and my own small problems and wants and needs and I become exhausted with trying to do it all on my own. I don’t trust Him enough, so I go to other people or other worldly things to try and deal with it all.
It took the Lord drawing away from me for a time for me to realize these things. I became so utterly aware of my desperate need for Him when I didn’t feel Him near me. I became so entirely confident that no one, not even Chase, could ever come close to satisfying my heart like only Jesus can. I was angry and confused, because I couldn’t understand or see why He was allowing me to go through such a long season of numbness. Now, I see that that was the most loving thing that He could’ve done. Because now I have an even better grasp on the idea that He is the Only One who can satisfy my soul.
I share this all only because I think these kind of things should be talked about more. It’s exhausting to try and pretend like you’re always on a Jesus high, when sometimes you’re just not. And THAT’S OKAY. But it’s hard to not feel like an anomaly when no one else ever seems to share their spiritual struggles. I know for me at least, it made me feel like I was alone and the only one dealing with that kind of thing.
So this post is for that one other person who feels far from God and is questioning whether or not He’s even there or whether or not He even cares or loves them.
He does. TRUST ME. He’s absolutely crazy about you. He just wants to be your Only One.