Life is no field of roses right now. In all honesty, it’s actually been more like a field of thorns. Countless times over the past couple weeks I have sat in my car with tears streaming down my face interrogating God asking Him what on earth He is doing up there, cause I sure could use some help and some answers down here. My mind is continuously plagued with questions like, “Why?”, and “Where is God?”, and “Why won’t He fix this?”.
On top of that, I have been bombarded with anxious patterns of thought, attempting to analyze every single detail of my situation, asking the question, “Why cant I fix this?”. “Where did I go wrong?” “Why can’t I do anything right?” My feelings tell me that if I was any sort of intelligent and productive human at all, I would pick up the pieces, come up with solutions, and for goodness’ sake get myself together.
But then I am met with despair. I can’t get myself together. I really don’t know what to do. I hardly know my left from my right at this point, let alone how to clean up the mess that surrounds me. I feel as though I don’t know who I really am, or how God really views me. But I know for sure that I am not perfect, and that I can’t be. Does God expect perfection from me? Does He even really love me through this? Is He waiting on me to “fix it” myself?
So where does all of this leave me? What can I do when I have no answers, when God is silent, and yet the last thing that I want to do is stay where I am?
I had no idea until about 30 minutes ago. But then something dawned on me, and it all came through the actions of another human being. My mom gave me a hug.
As humans we have the capacity to love. There are people in your life, whether you realize it or not, that love you deeply. The thing about love that comes from a person, however, is that no matter how deep and true it is, it will never be perfect. There is always something to be desired, always some flaw or imperfection in the way we love others and the way that they love us. We go to the people we love when we are hurting and broken, wanting them to listen to us and comfort us. Usually we don’t really care if they have the perfect answers or solutions, we just want to be heard and known in our time of pain and grief. So why do we interact with God so differently?
In this time of such brokenness, I ask God 70 million questions, practically yelling at Him to provide the answers that I want to hear, wondering why He won’t do anything when I am so desperate for His help. But in that moment with my mom I realized that maybe He has something in mind for me that is so much deeper and more beautiful than just a short and simple answer to my angry questions. Maybe He wants to bring me into a fuller knowledge of the fact that His love IS perfect; never-ending, never-failing, and never a disappointment. Maybe my Father wants to show me that He has always loved me and will always love me exactly how he loves me now. He says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matt. 11:28 He doesn’t say “Come to me and I will solve all your problems and give you all the answers and make your life instantly awesome.” He says that He will give us rest.
Here is what the Holy Spirit showed me this morning: I get myself so worked up trying with everything in me to seek and please Him, when all He wants of me right now is go to Him so that I might know Him…as well as to come to the understanding that I am fully known by Him. Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting to hear the perfect answer (which I then get so caught up in trying to follow perfectly) that I forget that first and foremost what my Father desires is communion with me…relationship with His daughter. He pursues the kind of intimacy with me that allows Him to just hold me and for that to be enough. No wonder I felt as though I had no idea who I was or who He was, because I came to a place of being so distant from His all-encompassing love. In those moments of intimacy, I don’t need answers. Because His gentleness allows me to know that He is truly good after all, He does very much love me, and that I really can rest in that.
I can’t earn God’s goodness. I can’t earn His forgiveness. I can’t earn the privilege of having relationship with Him…He just gives it. Because He loves me.
So I don’t have some incredible end to the story, like my situation changing or me magically becoming joyful and happy. Things are still looking pretty much exactly like they were half an hour ago. But the difference is that I now recognize that my Creator just wants to hug me. He just wants to hold my heart. He can handle my tears. He can handle my anger. He wants to know me. No…I don’t know why He won’t “fix it.” I don’t know why He couldn’t just bestow upon me the ability to fix everything myself, which I assure you is what I want. But I do know that when everything falls apart…when the field of roses becomes a lot more like a field of thorns…He is there, arms open, ready to let me get my tears and snot all over Him if I choose to rest in His love.
1 John 4:16 – “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Psalm 18:30-35 – “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
Psalm 103:11 – “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”