About Me

Phoenix, AZ, United States

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is this what it means?

Somedays, Life hurts, plain and simple. And this Christian lifestyle, this attempt to know and follow God seems insurmounable. To add insult to injury, we have an enemy who wants nothing more than to see our ruin... Walking by faith, holding to the unseen, well, it ain't no walk in the park. It's hard, really hard.

In all honesty, at the moment, I feel like I'm ready to let the tide overwhelm me... I want to give up...

It appears to me like i've been walking in lonely circles...having to learn and relearn, change and again change... only to change some more...only to find that what I've had is not enough...I'm walking a desolate trail, and finding the floor is full of thorns... and my shoes, well I lost them somewhere along the way... Last night, a friend sat with me on a cold, cement parking block and he echoed this sentiment. Not only did he feel like he was outlining a desert, he was doing so by night and being blindsided by obstacles... as he spoke these words, I stared into the late evening...into the abyss, searching desperately for the stars...or a satellite...anything that might reflect even a flicker of light...

Some days you feel on top of the world... like anything is possible. And you see God working...He seems close and real...He even speaks to you. And you feel His love in the sunset, in the rain, in His word and expressed through those around you...All of creation seems to shout of His presence...His relevance and goodness.

Other times God seems abstract, like a distant star, an idea...or loose concept...maybe even a fable... You feel alone and empty and like you just don't have what it takes to endure...at least for the long haul. You begin to question everything, even the progress you thought you'd made, it all seems pointless... and a strong impulse to runaway, to find a quiet place to hide overtakes you...

But perhaps this is what it means to be a Christian... this is the conflict, the grind. And it's not always pretty, or beautiful, but often messy and tumultuous. And our voices not only made for pleasant songs, but shouts in darkness...desperate cries for help. Perhaps our faith has to be tried by fire...and thus not always expressed in extravagant ways... perhaps sometimes, faith and hope are expressed in this:

That we come home...

After a long night of wandering the streets...

and though our hearts are broken, countenances burdened, prayers weak... through the thick haze of doubt, the shroud of heartache...we somehow manage to muster up enough syllables to call to the one, who saves.


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4 comments:

*j said...

joe,
i admire this direct honesty with how God feels distant sometimes. i feel that every now and again....tired, run down, lonely, feeling like i'm fighting for something and i'm not sure what. but i'm so thankful for people like you who are willing to speak what some christians may consider wrong to speak of (or at least some i've met). i think the devil thrives on us christians through our mentality and i think sometimes just knowing you're not alone with that is such a relief! i haven't blogged much lately, due to being a bit too down, but i thank you for your blogs. :o)

Joe said...

J, Thank you for your kind words...and I'm so very glad that my meandering words somehow provide you a bit of solace. I agree with you that honesty is so key, but something kind of lost within the body. We all have to fake it like we're makin' it... i've felt it too...and I think it all silly and inhuman... I hope you keep blogging and I'll say a prayer for you tonight.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Joe. Thank you for sharing. I have felt this way many times, and sometimes it's a moment to moment type of thing, too. Your words/thoughts resonate clearly with me right now.

Joe said...

Thank you for leaving that comment It makes me feel a little less alone...