That is how I have felt lately. Quite often.
I feel discouraged. I feel unmotivated. I feel, for lack of a better word…blah.
I told you that quite a bit had been whirling around in my head over the past few weeks. Indeed, I was not kidding. Hopefully, this will bode well for you as I try to process and share how I have felt for the past few weeks. A few weeks ago while taking in our Sunday morning sermon at my fantastic church, the phrase “joyfully devastated by Christ” stood out to me. It has stuck with me, reverberating over and over in my head, time and time again over these past few weeks. What does that mean? And even more importantly, what does it mean and how does it apply to me? Have I, lately, been devastated by Jesus? So overwhelmed with His love, His power and the realization of what He has saved me from, borne for me and given me?
No. Until that point, it had been a while.
I believe that the reason a lot of folks choose to not be overwhelmed with or believe in the gospel is because they lack the understanding (or want to avoid the consequences of) of what it is they are being saved from. They don’t think that they need a savior – they’re fine with the way that things are. Sadly enough, I’m a believer in the gospel, but I to fall into this same category. For to long I have been content with the way that things are, blinded (willingly) to the way that I am. To what I need saving from. I’m comfortable. There is a difference between peace and being comfortable. Peace is stillness and calm amidst the storm. Stagnation can be easily confused with peace, I think. It is seemingly someone who shows peace, when it actuality it can be someone who is content living even amidst the chaos and despair. I’ve been stagnate for to long.
The phrase “joyfully devastated” has stuck with me since then. Since that moment in church, which I remember clearly. The following weeks I prayed to God, to Jesus that He would touch me. That He would ‘devastate’ me. That He would enlighten me. Be careful what you wish for. Without elaborating (for the sake of not sounding crazy) I had an awesome experience roughly a week and a half ago. It was a simultaneously physical and spiritual experience. I felt the fullness of God, true oneness with Him. It was amazing. He answered my prayers. He turned me upside down in just a moment.
You would think that I would be pleased.
For the past week and a half, since that moment, I have felt nothing but discouraged. I haven’t wanted to open my Bible. I haven’t wanted to pray. I haven’t had the words or thoughts to pray. I have prayed for my children, over my meals and at bedtime. That has been it. I have gorged myself on distraction after distraction. How can this be? How can after a perfect moment, where one feels the power of God…can she be content to simply ignore and recoil from it?
My flesh was offended. There is no other way to put it than that. My flesh has reacted the way that a cockroach reacts when you enter the room and turn the light on; it has scurried back into the depths of the shadows from whence it came. The only way that I can describe it is like this: I came to close for comfort. Don’t get me wrong, when God moves, He moves. It is all by His power and His power alone. If He waited until we were perfect, ready or equipped enough then…well, He would be waiting a rather long time. He answered my prayers, and in the midst has slowly been revealing to me just where I am. I am in the “neutral” zone. I am in the comfort zone. The grey area. I have been content here, and have been for far, far to long. I am not ready to be touched by Him, to see the things He would have me see or learn the things that He would have me learn.
I am comfortable talking about my faith, but shy away from doing so at the risk of offending others or even being ridiculed by others. I am comfortable enough saying those prayers at bedtime, meal time and intermittently throughout the day but do I give care and power to those words that I pray? Do I believe that I am asking God because He is capable of answering them…or am I praying out of habit and because I know I should? I am in the worst possible place that a christian can be. I’m neutral. I’m comfortable. I am saying to me savior, You go on ahead…I’ll wait right here.
I am ignoring the great commission, every day. To make disciples of all the world. More than that, I can’t even start at home with my own family. My own children. Or on myself. I am comfortable in my flesh. I was discouraged after feeling the hand of God because I couldn’t hack it. I know I am not worthy, but I know that I know I am not worthy. I know that I am aware of how pervasive sin has been in my life.
No more I say.
I do not want to live in the grey. I do not want to live my life with people not knowing where I stand, the cornerstone on which my feet are planted. I do not want to live my life where people do not know that I need Jesus, every single minute of every single day. I do not want to live a life where people, that I am close with and love even, do not know that they, too, need Jesus. Every single moment. Of every single day.
I do not want to live within 50 shades or 1 shade of grey. And by His power, hopefully I won’t. And I pray that you won’t, too.
2nd Corinthians 4:16-18
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.