On my darkest nights and when He has been painfully silent, I have asked God to come to me in the flesh, look me dead in the eye and acknowledge the mess made of my life.
All I am looking for is a pep talk of sorts, the ones I suppose they do during Halftime when the game has been perticularly brutal. A few encouraging words, a hopeful promise or two, and at the very least a hug or something before God smacks my butt and tells me to get back in the game. But its never happened. It likely never will. Interestingly, I still pray for it… it’s happened to people in the Bible and on Oprah so there can’t be any harm in asking.
This week I asked that God come to me while sprawled out on the living room floor. Picture: a person laying on the grass gazing up at the sky but minus the grass, sky and anything else that makes that scene look even remotely normal – Instead, like a maniac, I was lying on my back, smack dab in the middle of the living room and searching for God somewhere in the popcorn ceiling. I then proceeded to ask God a few questions:
– WHO AM I to walk the road set before me? …I am barely recognizable to the person I once was. This battle has scarred me and this heartache has changed me. God, I can’t do this…
– WHAT IF this doesn’t work? …God, I am so afraid…
– WHAT IF it gets WORSE?!? …No seriously God, It’s not allowed to get worse!
Then I spun off on a tangent about all the reasons God should probably just be done with me because case in point: I was crying out to God like a blubbering mess from the living room floor!
In the Bible, Moses did the same thing. Not by searching for God in the popcorn ceiling or anything too crazy, just protesting God via a burning bush. And like me, Moses had the same kind of questions for God: WHO AM I to walk the road set before me? WHAT IF this doesn’t work? WHAT IF this gets WORSE?
But God simply responded, “…I will be with you.” I suppose we all have questions for God amidst our fear and uncertainty, And just like Moses,
Every question we ask in fear, is proceeded with a promise from a loving God:
“…I will be with you.”
In over your head?… I will be with you.
Afraid you might let go?… I will be with you.
Uncertain of what lies ahead? ….I will be with you.
Terrified? Tired? Heartbroken? Anything in between? … I will be with you.
Jesus has never come to me in a dream, a burning bush, or while looking up at the popcorn ceiling, but He did speak to me though this passage in the Bible (and I imagine if He ever did come to me this is exactly what He would say…)
But now, listen to the Lord who created you… The one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God. …You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. (Isaiah 43:1-5)
God is with us.
He promised it to Moses, and He is promising it to you and I as well.
Because God is with us, we can trade our fear for security, knowing we are not alone even when we most feel like it. Even when our lives feel like a mess of catastrophic proportions – our circumstances are divine, our pain has purpose and we are here on this Earth for a reason!
Fear may have taken hold of our hearts, ‘…but now we must listen to the Lord who created us’ and believe He will do what He promised and be by our side every – terrifying – step of the way.
We don’t need God to come to us in our dreams, a burning bush or while laying on our back staring up at the popcorn ceiling, though I will likely never stop asking. The only pep talk we need is right here:
“You are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
…Consider our butts smacked.
Now let’s get back in the game.