***The following is an edited excerpt from one of my fictional stories, and is an extreme exaggeration…but is not far off from certain circumstances in my life.***
“Sobbing uncontrollably, I have finally lost my voice from yelling at the popcorn on my ceiling. Where is God? Is He listening to me at all? No one gets that I have no other place to go. To return “home” would be nothing, because I don’t know them, and I don’t fit their idea of whom I should be.
I hold another past due notice in my hands. A job would be good (a third one, that is). A rain of money, a wealthy benefactor, something. I need God to show up in a BIG way, like, tomorrow, or I will have no other choice but to return to the chains. And, I already have to fit into a box at work, a round box for a square me. It is not working out so well, though I have them all fooled. For now.
I used to know how to pray. I learned in my church growing up that I have power. I can move mountains, and I can break chains. I possess the power of the universe in one tiny word, one BIG name that packs a punch: Jesus. But, I moved away from that church, and now I’m not sure I know how to pray that way anymore. My new church doesn’t really teach me how to pray with power (or really at all). People are lost to the message and the masses at my new church. Thus, I don’t know how to pray that way anymore.
All I know is I have hit a wall, and tonight I am not even sure He is listening to me. I keep double talking in my prayers, “Ok, God, this is what I want. I would like to be able to pay my bills, and put food in my cupboards, not one or the other. I would like a new job, one in which I can use my gifts, one I have passion for, one I am good at. I would like to find a church family that I can actually fit with. A place where people don’t try to make me what I’m not. A place where I get fed, and am really taught about important things such as prayer and evangelism.” Then comes the double-talk, “But if that isn’t Your will, then, OK. Give me peace where I am. Cuz, I only want Your will.”
Which is true. I want His will to be done. Truly. But, let’s be honest, I’d rather hear a yes to all the former. I mean, I am only human, right?
Confession 1: I know God meets needs, because He has met mine time and again. I know he hears and listens to prayer. I would not be here without Him breathing life into me. I would not have eaten today were it not for Him.
Confession 2: Today I wonder whether or not I have reached my limit of provision. Perhaps in all that He has done for me in my short life (because it has already been riddled with so much trauma, abuse, and pain), perhaps I have reached my limit of BIG saves. Now, it is down to ensuring I simply breathe.
Confession 3: I know the above is a lie. There will be an end to this struggle, but today I can’t see the big picture, just the little paint dots. And, I so desperately need a glimpse of the picture!
At this time both James 1 and Romans 5 come to mind. I am to count my sufferings joy, find perseverance in them, and realize that I still have hope. But, this does not always make me feel better. I am wallowing in the silence. The lack of hearing Him speak.
I will persevere though because, through all the pain and discomfort and (sometimes the agony), my single, biggest desire, the one that burns in me like a fire that is never quenched, is the desire to get closer to my God. To know Him personally, to feel Him and to reflect Him to the world. To know that on the other side of all of this, even if I end up homeless and hungry, I can still tell others that His faithfulness is great.
Somehow, now, I do feel slightly better. My circumstances have not changed. My eyes are still red and puffy, and my body aches from the sobs. Tomorrow when I wake up, I will still have overdue bills, and I will still wonder where my credit rating is going. Tomorrow, I will still have the same bare refrigerator and cupboards. Tomorrow, I will still have no new job prospects. Tomorrow, my car will still be crying for gas, an oil change, and a bath. And, tomorrow, I may still not have an answer from God.
But, He is my rock. He is my comfort. He is my provider. And, my occasional lack of faith does not nullify His faithfulness. And, these are the truths I am blessed to share with the world, perhaps with someone who needs them more than me.”