Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Bull Through"~When God Seems Distant

"Mama Kat...I feel so distant from God right now.  I am just not hearing Him." (They say, usually using my last name instead of first.)

"God seems so far away.  Everything....sigh...just seems so hard and I feel like I'm just not good enough for God to care about me."

"God is acting in everyone else's life it seems and He just seems too quiet in mine...so far away."

"I've prayed and prayed and God just isn't answering.  This is just too hard."

"I doubt He even cares about me."

"God won't use me.  Truthfully, I've failed too much."

These conversations have been happening over the course of several weeks.  My heart breaks every time.  It's not because I don't understand. It's because I get it.  I've been there.  It's so hard walking through the desert.

"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?"

Psalm 13:1-2a

You feel parched, longing to feel the thirst quenching water of the Holy Spirit washing over you.  You put one foot in front of the other on the heated desert sand.  You logically may know this desert will end, but the weariness inside of you may actually leave you wondering if you will live to see it.



The desert is my least favorite place to walk without God.

We are not though, without God that is. (Absolute Truth #1)

He is in the desert with us, even if we can't see or hear Him.  He's there.  I find (in the desert) that I know that logically, but emotionally, not so much.

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10


Logically, I know the absolute truth of the inspired scriptures. (Absolute Truth #2) 

Emotionally...sigh....

When I'm asked what to do, traditionally you will get what some may see as a pat answer. It's not.  Please bare with me.

I feel like I've said this phrase over and over again, at times to myself.  It's an odd phrase to say.

"You have to bull through."


With determination you have to keep going.  One step in front of the other.

"God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox." Numbers 23:22


You walk forward and hold onto the knowledge of absolute truth.

God

God is. (Absolute Truth #3)

You know this.  You have felt God's presence.  Hold onto that fact, even if you can't capture the emotion or feeling.

BULL THROUGH

Know that logically that one step in front of the other (on the right path) still leads to your destination.

I asked God for a word the other day, an example, as I was talking to someone dear to me.

This is the picture that presented itself.


A tunnel...

A tunnel filled to the top with wet goopy cement.


Assuming you could breathe, you have to push and plod through the tunnel.  It's slow, painful, stifling, isolating, and just feels horrible.  We know there's another side though.  Logically we know if there's a beginning, there is an end.  There will be an end, but we don't always know when it's coming.  We don't know how long the tunnel is.  The cement makes it impossible to see.  You keep going though.

You don't stop going to Church, seeking a Church, or worshipping and fellowshipping.  Stay in your Bible very deliberately each day and pray...DON'T STOP.  Look for gifts in your life daily and thank God.  Praise Him for what you have seen and know.

"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:9-10


BULL THROUGH

As satan tries to convince you you're not good enough and that it isn't worth it, this isn't truth.

"He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44b

Tell yourself truth...

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7

God loves you, whether you can feel it or not. No matter how awful you think you are. (Absolute Truth #4)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." 
1 Corinthians 1:27

BULL THROUGH

As you fight to hold onto your own sin, obey God's correction...for sometimes we are in rebellion.  We are saved by grace.  God loves us through how messed up we are (smile).  It helps though.

"...and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:27

BULL THROUGH

 When we doubt....

"Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
    and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
    and every morning brings new punishments." 

Psalm 73:13-14

"For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles,
their bodies are healthy and strong." 
Psalm 73:3-4

Speak truth...dig into the Bible...read books that speak even the beautiful scientific proof or logical proof of our great God. (Example: A Case for Faith, A Case for Christ, or A Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel)

“Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like His?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor"

Job 40:8-10

BULL THROUGH

When you feel finally like turning away.  Hold on, satan loves to look lovely, preening in front of a mirror when the horror that lies behind him may only begin in your imagination, but ends in eternity.

"...and no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." 
1 Corinthians 1:27

BULL THROUGH

When others empty promises fail...
When it feels like God is silent, this cannot be truth because you are surrounded by hypocrites....
  
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." 
John 3:16

God came to save the sinners...the hypocrites.  That's me.  That's you.  We cannot say that on some level we are any different.  This does not mean WE are failures, but are sinners redeemed by Christs' Holy Blood.

BULL THROUGH

You may not be able to see the lighthouse through the fog.  You may feel like your ship is doomed to crash.


You may not feel like you will ever reach that oasis in the desert...that the desert will never end.

BULL THROUGH

Because...

What God has begun, He will see through in you.

He has not left you to sit in decay, but is with you.

It is not necessary for us to feel our Heavenly Father for Him to be there.

He does not cease to exist, because we don't acknowledge His existence.

He does not stop loving us, because we don't feel lovable.

Our Heavenly Father is who He always was.  I promise you.

I give this advice, not out of ignorance, but out of being there.  Bull through, precious sisters and brothers.
God is still there and you WILL see HIS light again.

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirsheirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:16

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12b

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In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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