Monday, October 16, 2006

Impatient in Indirection, Needing Patience in an Inward Direction

I have been asking myself -- and God -- a lot of questions lately in response to a certain amount of stagnation I have been feeling in my spiritual life. God has spent the past year tapping me on the chip on my shoulder, revealing himself to me in numerous, various, surprising, humbling and uplifting ways. He has even, perhaps, used me in ways which I frankly still find unbelievable and -- knowing my penchant for resistance, uselessness and wrongdoing as I do -- cannot justify claiming any part in. God has blessed me in innumerable, invaluable ways (of which forgiveness is the chief), and demonstrated to me time and again that I am where he wants me, and that he is still moving me along his path.
So why, then, this stagnation? Why do I find it impossible to focus any time I sit down to pray or read, or stand to sing, or sit to listen and be taught? Now, don't get me wrong; my question is not, "God, where are you?" He is here, living and active, doing something I can't understand yet. My question is, "what am I supposed to be doing right now?" I want to know if there is something I am missing. Actually, to put it more accurately, I want to know that there is something I am missing and to be told what it is. It would be so easy if the problem is something I am holding back or holding back from because then God, with a thought and in an instant, could shatter me irreparably and I would thank him for it. The answer I am afraid to hear is, "just wait a while."
I am grasping for something I have surrendered my soul to receive and finding myself utterly incapable of attaining it and God, instead of giving it to me right now, might just be telling me to wait. I can't tell you how much that is the answer I don't want to hear.

Here is the scripture I have kept coming back to in my mind during this time of impatience:
Colossians 1:9-14
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.



Blogger Kelly said...

There are plenty of times where I find myself feeling the same way. And, whenever that happens, I always fear that I am hearing the same answer, "just wait..."

I think that really is his answer for us in these times. I don't think there is something we can do to "recapture" that feeling of being more "spiritually in tune" or "active".

I hate being patient. We never want the things we enjoy to end, and we can't wait for the things we don't enjoy to be done with so we can be on to something we enjoy. (we hope!)

The one thing that drives me most crazy during these times though is the memory of other times like them. We're not always on a "spiritual high". Sometimes, we are riding up and down between waves. I know, because these times have come before, that I will experience those times of feeling so much closer and more useful again in the future. That's almost infuriating because I wonder why I can't enjoy them now.

So, I guess what I'm saying is: You probably just need to wait. After all, God is waiting eagerly (and has been for a long, long time) for us to be with Him.

Thursday, October 19, 2006 3:53:00 PM  

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