I got a little irritated with God a few days ago. Not the first time, mind you. We have this cool-enough relationship where I am like a kite…bobbing around, way up there in the sky, surrendering to the whim of every breeze and care of life that blows my way; while He is below, patiently holding on to my kite string. Never taking His eye off of me; no matter how far away from Him I go.
It can get a little crazy up there, in this place I do life…sometimes I get a little sick to my stomach from giving in to every high and low the air current brings; my feelings as temperamental as sudden changes of weather. And sometimes I get frustrated; my kite string wrapped tightly around something I so desperately want resolved. I can’t get unstuck and free; too tangled up in another one of life’s worries.
I’m so glad He never lets go.
I know He won’t, you know. Well, in my head, at least. Lots of theology classes…Scriptures memorized…Bible reading…Sunday school when I was a kid…they’ve all told me that He will never let go of that kite string; no matter how hard the winds blow.
But, oh, my heart… Sometimes my heart just hurts too much and feels empty and alone, and I wonder if He’s not there anymore; especially when I’m being whipped around by another storm. And I’m looking for Him. And waiting for Him. And trying my hardest to hear what He is saying to me…
It’s at those times, that I question myself most: Have I created this storm? Did I do something wrong? Something to deserve this? Am I not seeking truth enough? Change enough? Honest introspection enough?
I am high up in the sky, being battered by the fiercest winds, and I look to God for answers… show me the truth that will set me free. Show me truth that will give me peace.
Like the other day. When I asked Him these very questions – and then waited for Him to show me what was wrong with me (like I often do), what I did to cause the storm, what I could do to alleviate it. I wanted, so much, to hear what God had to say to me so I could fix it. And I waited…and waited…and waited…and waited…
And so I asked Him again, please, show me what I’m doing wrong, God. I can’t hear you way up here. It’s cold. And lonely. Are you there?
And I waited…and waited…and waited…and waited…
This went on for a few days; my kite tale quite tattered and torn by now. Seeming to be almost beyond repair.
I begged God a third time. A fourth time. An umpteenth time.
Until, one day, I got real still. You might now what kind of stillness I’m talking about, if you’ve read the story of Elijah trying to hear God (1 Kings 19). It’s the kind of still that only comes after you’ve been exhausted by all that’s going on around you. And I finally heard God…barely…but I heard Him…
What if you’re okay with me, Sherri? What if I have nothing bad to say to you? Could you hear that?
He spoke to my heart so softly, like a whisper, but as clear as day nonetheless:
Why do you assume I always have bad things to say to you? What if I’m pleased with you? What if you are okay? That is why you can’t hear me oftentimes. You’re always straining to hear the bad. The corrective. You’re constantly looking to hear what you assume is the truth; not always what is the truth.
And then peace.
No wonder I sometimes have a hard time experiencing God. I assume, because I’m so hard on my own self, and because He’s holy and I am obviously way not, that His main objective is about correcting me rather than loving me; disciplining me rather than caring for me; improving me rather than celebrating me. As if the former can be separated from the latter.
What an ugly, distorted, untruthful, picture of God.
And I wonder…how many other people have a distorted view of God like I sometimes do? Assuming He mostly has bad things to say to them…afraid to spend time with Him, and get to know Him, lest He only affirm what a failure they are.
Oh, I know. Some people have the opposite problem. They can’t hear anything corrective or hard. It would pick a scab off a wound way down deep and assault the core of who they are, rather than what they do. I get it. I’ve been there too.
But I have a hunch most people are just like I was last week – ever-ready to hear the bad and ever-suspicious of the truth.
I am so sorry for us. I think we’re really missing out.
It takes a lot of bravery to search for what God is really saying to us rather than searching for what we assume He is saying; to look for truth rather than assume we already know what that truth is; to dare to believe God has great, affirming, life-giving things to say to us just because…well, He really means it.
This week I decided to choose bravery. I dared to believe God had good things to say to me – without any bad. It was hard. But, man, what a difference it made! It’s amazing what can happen when you let a few life-affirming words enter who you are…and how much those words then affect what you do.
Your kite flies higher – and further – and freer than you ever thought possible.
I need to dare to believe God has many more good things to say to me, much more often.
I dare you to believe that, too.
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