Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Life You've Always Wanted

I am learning so many things. So many things that I have wanted to believe were true for a long time, but the world was telling me different. He is now affirming them for me.

Take "spiritual highs" for instance. You know those times you go through when your prayer life is kickin', you're yearning His direction, feeling His presence? A book I'm reading refers to them as times of consolation. And in contrast, there are times when you feel that God is far from you, His guidance is unclear, prayer is more of a hassle than a privilege. Those times are referred to as times of desolation.

Before, I thought times of desolation in my life were consequences for something I was doing wrong. He was punishing me for my laziness. I missed a day (or a few) in the Bible here, I hadn't had many "quiet times" in the week there, I was running full speed in the opposite direction of His will for my life. He is teaching me now that times of desolation are not consequences of any kind. But because I was so deep in self pity during those times, I never allowed myself to open up to what He was trying to use those times for.

"In truth, both seasons are inevitable, and both seasons can bring unique growth"(55). Did you catch it? It's not my fault that I experience both spiritual highs and spiritual droughts. C.S. Lewis put in better than anybody. And I quote him from John Ortberg's book.

"But He never allows this state of affairs to last long. Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs-- to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be "(55).

Again, I had been so consumed with the guilt of my spiritual drought every time I experienced such a time, I never ever allowed myself to grow in the unique way God designed me to grow during it.

You can blame it on the church. You can blame it on the countless preachers' sermons, Sunday school teachers' lessons, or the youth group sermons I was spoon fed growing up where "quiet times" were pushed and pushed and pushed. Being so ratified to the point where lack of such "quiet times" would bring heavy heavy guilt and proof of some disconnect with our Lord. And blame them is what I did when I first realized the truth behind these seasons of my life I frequently visit. I got so angry at the previously mentioned for teaching me incorrectly-for putting so much emphasis on the WRONG thing and making me miss out on so much growth from that point until now. Ooh I was so angry at them.

But then God put a big halt on that thought. There I was, making Him so small again. Pretty much saying that God only worked through preachers, and Sunday school teachers. Sure, they could have gotten it right. But because I put so much emphasis on preachers and Sunday school teachers and youth pastors, I allowed them to alter my thinking. I allowed them to direct my actions with MY relationship with Him. If I would have opened up His word and allowed Him to direct my thinking, understanding, and knowledge of what spiritual seasons of my life really meant, I wouldn't have had a problem. But no, I relied only on another human. THEN got angry at them later down the road from my own mistake of downsizing Him.

Does that make sense? To sum it up, God designed both seasons of consolation and desolation. Desolation is not a consequence of a punishment for something I did incorrectly. Both times can be used for a unique and intimate growth, if I allow Him to do the growing. And all of this time that I misinterpreted the spiritual lows and missed out on growth, it 1. was my fault and 2. I still grew in other ways I didn't realize until now.

God sure is sovereign, eh?

1 comment:

taylor said...

that makes me smile...