As I’m sure you can tell by my latest posts, or rather, the lack thereof, I have been feeling a little wonky lately. Lots of doubts, lots of groundbreaking epiphanies, more doubts, a dash of hopelessness and just a pinch of wonder. Truly, a valid description of my heart as of late.
So today, after a crazy weekend that was both hopeful and disappointing, I decided I needed a God day. I was going to fast all day, get up extra early for some added alone time, spend some much needed time in the Psalms when I got home from work, and just worship. No requests, no worried prayers, just declarations of thankfulness and love. I am re-reading one of my favorite Dekker series, The Heaven Trilogy, and I so want to know God the way one of the main characters, Helen, does. So, I needed a date with Christ.
Sounds like the good, christian thing to do, right? I mean, seriously, go Alecia, you are one righteous lady!
But then this thought came into my head, and at first I thought it was the enemy trying to discourage me from my perfectly planned date with Jesus, but the half truth of it struck me in such a way that I can’t help but wonder if this is one of those “whisper” moments the Holy Spirit so likes to use.
You are selfish and your motivation for this day is selfish. You are afraid, so you are trying to schmooze God into making everything better for you. But it won’t work.
That’s what I heard, and recognizing a tone of condemnation, I was inclined to ignore this thought.
But, I couldn’t. I knew the Enemy wanted me to feel ashamed and like it was pointless and to just forget the whole thing. But instead, I decided to take it to God. Satan tries to trap us with half-truths as much as straight up lies, and in this case, I wanted to know for certain that there was NO truth to this accusation.
So I asked God if he would show me if there was any truth to this, even the tiniest smidgen. And I felt a question, not an accusation, but a thinker for sure.
It asked, Are you doing this because you want more of God or because you want more of God’s blessings.
Um, more of God, of course. I mean it would be down right manipulative to spend a day feigning a desire to know God when all I really wanted was to know the answers to all my life problems.
It would also resemble something like trying to earn God’s love and blessings by being a super awesome daughter. And I’ve learned my lesson in that arena.
It was at this point I started to get discouraged, because in all honesty, I struggle with a desire to know God. How do you spend time getting to know someone who has all the answers to everything while you sit there clueless and ignorant? In truth, spending time with God is easiest when I am handing some kind of trust issue over to him. At least then, I have a purpose in the relationship, and I am able to give him something, a sacrifice or token of affection of some sort.
But to sit in a room and try to be in the presence of God? To get to KNOW him? It makes me feel icky, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, trying to have a relationship with someone clearly out of my league, in an environment in which I clearly don’t belong. Saved or no, I’m still wandering around the heavenly Beverly Hills in my stripper swag. What on earth could possibly motivate that humiliation?
I’ll tell you what, the prospect of an all-powerful God honoring my desire to know him, worship him, and love him. And by honoring, I mean giving me stuff.
Jeez. Not so far off from Vivian after all.
Is this really who I am? A brown-noser sucking up to God in hopes of getting some kind of reward from him? Talk about a prideful spirit…
But God, ya know, he’s so gentle. He’s so understanding. I’m contemplating all of this and asking him, like, is this true God? Is this really who I am? Is this really my motivation for sacrificing my day for you?
And again comes a whispered question.
Alecia, if I promised you that from this moment on, everything in your life would change for the better, that your life would improve financially, that you would have a happy marriage with no problems, that your kids would follow their dreams and be successful, that you would never have another crisis in your life ever again, that no matter what you do here on earth, you have an absolute secure spot waiting for you in heaven when all of this is over……
Would you be willing to give up your relationship with me?
Nothing to lose, everything to gain in the physical world, nothing to fear after death.
Would you give up having coffee with me every morning, writing love letters to me and sharing my responses with all your friends, hearing my voice as you read my Words of wisdom, excitedly thanking me after every victory and calling on me for guidance when you’re unsure which road is best?
If I guaranteed you the perfect, happy life you want, would you be satisfied with emptiness when you call my name? Would you take it if you knew I could not hear you, could not see you, and would not intervene in your life in any way?
I want to say no, of course not, but I am not sure I completely trust that answer. I think about it. I want to be honest, if nothing else.
“God,” I ask, ” What’s the alternative?”
A life with no guarantees, with moments of joy and more moments of pain. A life of struggle, but also of growth. A life built on just one promise-I AM with you. I AM walking with you through each valley. I AM holding your hand through any pain. I AM using your weakness to build up your strength. I AM laughing with you in the sunshine, dancing with you in the rain. I AM jumping for joy with you at every victory, and holding you close when you fail.
I AM. But life will be a struggle.
Knowing this, what would you choose?
Honestly, I can not imagine not talking with God over coffee. I cannot imagine the deafening silence without his presence. I cannot bear the thought of a life, perfect or not, without the knowledge that I am perfectly loved by my Creator.
So I choose this imperfect, crazy, heartbreaking life, because I would rather endure heartache and pain with my Best Friend, Father and Healer than live a perfect life without him.
Which can only mean that I am, in fact, not the manipulative scum sucking poser that the Enemy would have me believe. Flawed and unhinged as I may be, my heart belongs to the Lord.
I felt God smiling at me as I came to this realization, not because I chose correctly, but because he had just shown me the truth that he already knew. I am his, and he is my everything.