Sometimes things are dark. I'm seeking. I'm seeking. And the thought will come in to my brain, "What if all this is for nothing. What if nothing ever changes in my heart?" My heart can remain so cold. There is so little of me that responds to Him at all in these new places where He's moving me.
I was there today. Standing on the outside of myself, observing, wondering. Before I took the desperate plunge into discouragement and despair, this truth to believe burst into my world:
I have not said to you, 'Seek Me!' in vain.
I the Lord speak the truth.
I declare what is right.
This seeking is not in vain. Based on the trustworthiness of the one who said:
Youwillseek me andfind me
when youseek me with all your heart.
I can continue to seek. I can continue to press into new ways of knowing Him, new ways of surrendering, new ways of trusting Him. Because He has said it's not in vain. When I seek, I will find.
God wants me talking to Him all the time about all things. Sometimes I feel like I'll wear Him out or annoy Him or be too needy. Like somehow I'm doing Him a favor by not bothering Him too often.
No, completely the contrary. He wants me to go to Him at all times. He promises to be my refuge. A refuge is for always. You don't wear out or annoy or drain a refuge. A refuge is by its very nature a place of shelter, protection, or safety. It is a place for aid, relief or escape. A refuge doesn't go and come. It is permanent, always there.
I've identified a pattern in my thinking. It starts with feelings of emptiness . . . a need to be filled, to feel full. I seek God, seek answers. I become convinced that only God and His love are enough to fill me. And so I begin to drink at that well. And a few days or weeks later, I still don't have the feeling I'm seeking. And I become disillusioned and unbelieving. And I have a feeling of emptiness . . . a need to be filled, to feel full. An endless cycle. I can see that the breakdown comes when I don't have the feeling I'm seeking and my resulting unbelief. The answer to that is to believe. To believe whether or not the feelings come with it. To believe just because God is who He says He is and God will do what He says He can do. To believe He is enough because He says He is.
And because I have chosen to believe that He can fill me with His love, today I'm believing:
See what great love my Father has lavished on me,
that I should be called a child of God.
And that is what I am!
I John 3:1
He has lavished that love on me. Not just a sprinkling, not just a drip, not just a cursory nod thrown my way. But lavished, thick and heavy and intentional. I'm believing that love today.
I know I'm neither the first nor the last to have a heart that drives them crazy!! Jeremiah describes my heart as dark and deceitful, perverse, corrupt and beyond cure . . . a puzzle no one can figure out. It will take me down the wrong road every single time. It will trip me up; it will lie to me; it will let me accept a slight veering off the path . . . until I'm deep in the weeds and can't find my way back.
And yet, when I try to correct, understand or master my own heart, I'm left feeling confused, stressed, and wondering if it's me or the whole rest of the world who's gone crazy.
Enter the One who will gladly lift that burden from my unable shoulders.
Today I'm believing God when He says:
I, God, search the heart and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
Not as they pretend to be
I don't have to figure my heart out or correct it when it's wandering. I can put that responsibility in God's hands. "Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts." He's got me figured out. I am no surprise to Him. I can trust Him to keep my scattered, willful and gullible heart going down the right path.
I awoke with the feelings already swimming around in my head. Feelings of discontent and the awareness that there was something that I very much wanted that up to this point I have not been able to obtain.
I know where this kind of thinking goes . . . self-pity, a determination to get what I'm seeking, and (eventually) the empty frustration of (once again) not having what I want in my grasp. Result? More self-pity, and the cycle begins all over again.
But this morning there was a new twist. A determination that instead of continuing to go down the same hopeless path, I am going to choose to believe God and who He is and what He says.
And the truth I chose to seize upon today in the middle of the pity, the self-effort, and the lonely frustration was this:
"Your love is better than life."
That is what I am choosing to believe today. And that is what I promptly told myself.
My flesh turned up its nose, rolled its eyes, sulked.
Never mind. I told it to myself again. Once again, my feelings gave no response.
But God's Word is truth, and I choose to believe. My feelings, on the other hand, are changeable, barometric, unreliable.
His love is enough. If it's better than life itself, it's certainly better than the elusive hope I hold dear in my heart. And unlike that wispy, unpredictable, shadowy desire, His love it attainable. In fact, it's already mine.