I had been in this place before. But, I had never been this desperate. At that time, God and I were on separate tracks in separate universes. He may have been speaking, but I did not hear a thing He was saying. I was beyond frustrated. I needed to get away. Was this faith thing was worth pursuing? I needed to see if God was really all He was cracked up to be. I needed an answer. Some indication to tell me that all of this meant something, was worth something.
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:13-14 (NIV)
I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation. Psalm 118:13-14 (MSG)
I got to my destination, dropped my baggage and headed into town. There was a cathedral close by. God and I have a history in cathedrals. I seem to slow down when I am in them. I seem to hear His voice more clearly there. I sat down, journal and pencil ready.
God helped me. From thoughts that were scattered and disjointed to order. From deep discouragement to a refreshing of spirit and soul. From frustration, even anger, to a renewed relationship. From a place of questioning and doubt to a place of hope.
None of it was overnight. It still is not. Tiny steps continue to be taken along the journey.
The journey is all about presence. I cannot be helped by someone if they do not know the need. I cannot receive help if I do not express the need for it. I do not like to admit my need. I tell myself, I can do it. If I cannot do it right now, I will figure out a way to do it. I will problem solve it myself because I do not want to need help. Sometimes that perseverance is a blessing – I get it done. Other times, it is a total hindrance preventing me from receiving the blessing someone wishes to pass on to me. Nevertheless, it is time spent with someone, presence, that makes all the difference
Presence is even more essential when it comes to my relationship with God, my Father. He longs to be with me. He longs for me to be with Him. Nothing gives Him joy like my attention and love. Everything changes when I spend time in His presence. My worries and fears are given their proper perspective. My hopes and dreams flourish because He shares them. He hears me laugh and He laughs with me. My tears do not scare Him, rather the things that hurt my heart hurt Him too. He wants to be so close to me that I cannot help but feel His heart beating with love for me. Out of that affection and love, my heart cannot help but be stirred for the things that break His heart. He sings songs over me and delights in the praises that I sing back to Him in return. In His presence, my plans submit to His and we are able to walk closely together.
It turns out that I am in constant need of His help. I am only one step removed from disaster. But my God is with me in all of it. He is strong. I do not need to be. He is my song. I just need to listen for it and follow His voice. He is my salvation. I am redeemed by the One who loves me more than I can understand. He is closer than the air I breathe. I crave His presence.
Cageless Birds & Joel Case The Lord is my Light