When I consider how few people actually read this mess of thoughts it becomes a proper difficulty not to post more rants, raves and complaints. But my mission with this project twofold: positivity (and I hope that my posts generally end with encouragement for myself and the reader) and honesty (which is something I’m still trying to exercise on a regular basis, not just with other people, but with myself). But after having gone for quite a few years as a deceitful cynic there are times when my heart and mind relapse into more pessimistic thoughts, usually the kind that lie about things I already know to be true. So, I’m starting this little “series” for reasons threefold. For one, I haven’t been writing and that makes my mind a mess, so maybe if I have a series I’ll get back to it and start thinking clearly. For two, Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, and I can vouch for that. For three, by reminding myself of these things through my writing maybe a few other people will be encouraged. So here I go, and feel free to leave any kind of comments and what not as the series progresses.
Lie of the Heart #1: God can be trusted in all things that do not pertain directly to my life.
I have realized that I do not trust God. I do not trust others. I am not always walking in faith these days, I don’t even accept love on a regular basis because I am afraid of it, which means I’m not trusting God to take care of my heart in all situations. I am such a hypocrite. I do not say this because of a self-image problem, I say this because of moments of clarity. Conversations with Tink and Mama Bear always seem to reassure me that yes, my walls of logic are still very much surrounding my little heart, and no, I am not willing to connect with my true feelings or emotions on any subject any time soon. Of course this leads to revelations of how my heart is working that make me want to stab myself in the eye because I don’t know how things got so far out of hand.
The other night I was unable to stop itching, I had run out of antihistamine and was ravaged with hives. I had just spent the evening at a worship night and was feeling sleepy and ok but still itchy, so I went to my bedside table to grab a Benadryl and 1/4 of a sleeping pill so I could fall asleep quickly. While I was doing this I felt the question only God would even know to ask:
“Don’t you trust me to give you sleep?”
My answer was automatic and tragically, refreshingly honest.
“No, I don’t.”
I took the meds. I went to bed. It took me a while to fall asleep, and I woke up a few times in the night scratching. I woke up in the morning realizing that yet again my mind had managed to put God into a box, giving him outlines and creating stipulations to how he works. It’s completely retarded, letting my silly human brain decide how big and how wonderous God can be, considering I will never know how truly majestic and glorious he is until the day we meet.
Truth #1) God has already proven that he works in my life on a regular basis when it comes to the physical level. If God couldn’t be trusted to work in my life on a personal and intimate level, I’d still live in Maine. I wouldn’t have gotten that monday off a few weeks ago, or have any friends. I wouldn’t have a job, and I wouldn’t see my prayers for others answered. God hasn’t left me stranded since I started trying to walk on his path, the same way he took care of Elijah in 1 Kings by listening to his prayers about rain, giving him a place to hide and birds to bring him food (which is so definitely a miracle because let’s face it, what normal bird will give a human their bread during a drought?) and then had a widow ready to take him in and take care of him, then heal a dead boy for him. The Lord does not have to be so far away, working miracles in other people’s lives and in the world, he has been right here with me and working in my life so often that I’ve failed to continue recognizing it.
Truth #2) There have been changes in my heart that can only happen by the personal interference of a Holy Creator. God has been using his gentle potter’s fingers to mold me, showing me the reserves of grace and patience I have, wonderful dreams and their fulfillment, granting me the amazing and supernatural peace that is only received when one pours their heart out to him. He’s even been gently showing me the lies, rules, and judgments my heart has been using to put God in a box, exposing the fears I have been pushing to the back of my closet, and showing me that dealing with them won’t result in pain, but in beauty and truth.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. – Psalm 51:6
Truth #3) Maybe it’s the Easter sunday talking, but Christ died for all of us and he died for each of us. That means that while he did take an action that redeemed us all, it doesn’t make what he went through any less personal for each of us. That means that by his stripes I am healed. That he was taunted and persecuted and didn’t stand up for himself for my benefit. That he found my weak and sinful heart to be worth going through so much trauma that Mel Gibson would make a traumatic movie about it. He has given us, given me a chance to live through his death. If that’s not the work of God in my personal life I don’t know what is.
I think that the best bet in countering this attack of doubt is to continually push myself to do what my human nature and the sin of my heart is trying to get myself away from: dive into the Word, give praise and thanksgiving, count my blessings and remind myself of what God has done for me, to continue the dialogue that our relationship needs.
With the changes of the season seems to come a sense of other changes, and I am finding myself overwhelmed and unprepared for the battle I’ve already joined.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:12&13
I have a feeling that my trust issues aren’t going to be disappearing quickly, and that I will continue to make choices about my life keeping them in mind only to kick myself for being so blatantly un-trusting. But I also will continue to push myself towards the simple and desperately needed practices that I fall out of so often, so that by knowing God’s character as his word and my life reveals it to be I can stop listening to the lie that he is only so big, only so good, only so incredible. Because he’s so much more, and I am excited to find out how wrong I’ve been.