Welcome to the “What God is Doing in my Life” segment of this blog.
For about the past month, I have been feeling slightly distracted. It was not like something big happened; rather, something inside my spirit was distracted, not at peace, not focused as it should be on God. I was aware of it, I did not like it, but there was nothing I could think of to change it.
While on one level I know the value of spiritual disciplines, of persevering in actions to which God calls us even when there seems to be no fruit from those actions, I have this personal dislike of anything in me that could appear like empty religion. For me personally, nothing really makes me question my faith except actions inspired by duty rather than desire. I’ve experienced God enough to know beyond any doubt that Jesus is Lord and the Bible is True, but when I’m in a dry spell, the only times I have ever been strengthened by reading the Bible have been times that some small, not-me voice has told me to do so. The other times, I end up even more discouraged than I was before and feel myself start to ask the sky, “Are you real, God? Show Yourself to me!”
Which is not to say that my way is best. I probably need to pray through this. Also, everyone relates to God in different ways, since we all are unique. This is just how I experience times of self-interpreted distance from God.
So instead of surrendering to deadly guilt and opening the door for doubts that I know, in my deepest part, have no real foundation, this time I simply said, “Okay, God. I’m distracted. I don’t know why. I do know that I don’t know how to be focused on You again, or what’s causing this. Please help. You’re the only way I can stay true to You.”
The answer was not immediate. The prayer was repeated in different ways at different times. Other than that, I waited and went through life.
He finally broke through my clouded mind on Sunday night, leading me to journal on my bed. I laid down and started writing, and all of a sudden tears were pouring down my face and I kind of understand now the reason behind my spirit of distraction.
I let myself focus on my desires:
To know that someday I’ll marry a wonderful man who is so passionate for God,
To never have to worry about if I’ll be able to earn enough money,
To be a “successful” writer,
To be beautiful (but really, by that I mean to be content with all the aspects of my physical appearance),
To be told fantastic stories,
To eat delicious food–and to not eat too much, to not gain weight,
To graduate from college now instead of at the end of next semester,
To study only the Roman Republic and creative writing,
To crochet new, challenging, fun things,
To have a car that does not constantly have problems, a good, reliable car,
The list goes on and on.
In that moment, God shifted my heart. He reminded me of what is really important, and He again became my first, my greatest, my overwhelming desire, perhaps a little bit more than ever before. Perhaps my whole life will be slow, tiny shifts of my heart to desire Him more and more.
I still would like for all of those things to happen, but right now, their importance seems negligible to my happiness or even my success in life. God is so much more than any of those, as the sun is superior to a candle, as a planet is greater than an atom. He is everything.
There are so many songs that express this, but the one that keeps coming to my mind is “Only You,” by For All Seasons. The bridge and chorus say:
“When the world came crashing down upon my feet,
Simply knowing who You are was all I needed.
I just want You, Jesus.
Only You, only You can satisfy my heart’s desires.”
What is your heart desiring right now? Are you distracted from who should be our hearts’ truest, deepest desire? I urge you to take some time, particularly heading into this holiday season, to spend time with the Lord and ask Him to realign your heart with His.
Please consider donating to the International Justice Mission to aid their valuable work against human trafficking! Here is a link through which you can support them: https://www.ijmfreedommaker.org/campaign/1770/Dressember-for-IJM