Here's a post I wrote as a draft several days ago. I just ran across it again, so here's today's post.
I've been going through one of those times where I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of things to do for the last few days. You know, when you feel like nothing you do will get you any closer to being able to say you're done, or when you can just see a mental list of things to check off in your mind even as you try to sleep?
Honestly, I'm tired, and I haven't felt like reading my Bible the last few days. Oh, I've read a little bit, but more to be able to say I'd done it than for any actual good. Honestly, I don't feel like praying. Sure, I pray before my meals, but it's a prayer for the sake of habit and tradition more than a prayer of genuine love. I don't feel happy and joyful. I feel pessimistic.
But it's during these times that one beautiful thing becomes even more abundantly clear. Jesus isn't all about the deep theology, and twisted, complicated schemes of thought intricately woven in Scripture. Sure, He can be found there, but that's not usually where we find Him. Jesus isn't all about making us successful in the world, or extremely popular.
A relationship with Jesus is about seeing Him in the little things, in the busy times of life. There are times we don't want to; I know. I'm have that feeling now. It's about seeing Him when you're tempted to fail, again; it's about taking a second and listening for Him, amid all the distractions. Jesus doesn't demand a three hour quiet time, ten hymns, and a stringent prayer workout in the morning. Sometimes all Jesus does is softly speak in the stillness.
It's hard to see Him now. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I've seen it in friends when I explain that I'm going through one of these times, and they nod that nod that says so eloquently, "I know exactly what you're talking about." But not only that, I am comforted in the fact that the person I see act this way the most, even more than friends I know, is a man long dead, David.
Psalm 22 is a psalm of David that starts out with these words, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer: and by night, but I have no rest." Now, I can sympathize with that! I can just picture David in my mind, standing before God, just crying out to Him to listen, to hear his voice.
It happens. You go through those times in your life where you don't see God, and you don't want to see Him. Or maybe it's the exact opposite. Maybe you want to see Him, and He just isn't showing up. Why? Three words: I don't know. If I did, I'd be preaching at huge conferences and making lots of money. (note: I'm not.) The point I'm trying to make though is that on those days, whether it's so loud and bustling you can't hear God, or whether it's a quiet, silent day that God's just not speaking, look for Him. Look for Him in the little things, the beauty of a morning, or a songbird. I don't say that to sound maukishly sentimental, but it's true. Sometimes you can see God clearer through the little things than through all the grandiose theological creeds in the world.
Secondly, don't just listen for God; show God. Show Jesus through how you live your life, even when you don't feel close. Don't let those times you feel far from God allow you to fall to temptation, just because it's easy to give in. Show Jesus in how we live, even when we don't feel like it. Show Jesus, whether it be to the annoying old lady down the street or the autistic child in a restaurant. Show love; show concern for the world.
Another beautiful thing that I always try to remember on those days I feel that I'm overwhelmed, swamped, and am a failure is that that is exactly who Jesus came to save. Jesus called the misfits, the failures, the sinners to himself. His promise of a light burden was exactly that, a light burden. He isn't standing over us with a whip waiting for us to step out of line or go for a week with out looking up at Him. He isn't just waiting for us to mess up so He can hit our house with a meteorite.
It happens. It's life. We feel far from God, and as much as pastors may say to do this or that to never feel far from God, it still happens. And you show your love for God the best by obeying, by loving, by listening when you don't feel God there.