Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Well, He Isn't Tame

The past few weeks have been among the most spiritually trying of my life. I can't really tell you why, but I'm exhausted. I shouldn't be, but I am. It feels like the world is piling up on me. I'm frustrated by nothing. Angry at no one. Exhausted by my own apathy. I am not enough. If I do get something right my motivation is usually flawed. This blog is a great example. I feel like its the right thing to do, that I should be accountable, that I need to work this stuff out. The problem is, I really want you to be impressed by it. I stay up really late making sure its the best it can be so you think I'm something. (The funny thing is that I know both of you really well and I'm pretty confident you already like me). I hope that God is glorified by what happens here, but most times when I write I'm more concerned about what you think. That makes this trying like everything else. I feel like there's something building in me, I'm afraid of what it might be. I feel anxious and confused. Something is off, out of place, wrong.

I thought at first this was Satan coming after me, I'm not so sure now. The thing that terrifies me is that it may be God whose coming. I've finally taken the first step, I think that may have been what he was waiting for. He's been faithful before, but He's on the move now. It scares me because I spent years taking the easy way out. I hid, retreated, built walls. I finally found a place that was safe, calm. I had run far enough, I was hidden well enough. I could rest. I think I just jumped up and shouted, "Here I am. Come get me!"

God is bigger than I thought he was and he's coming fast. I'm no longer convinced this process is going to be pleasant. I find myself taking steps back. Hiding in trenches I vacated long ago - reinforcing walls - looking for a way out. What if He reaches me? What if He doesn't? I'm not brave enough to advance. I'm too tired to retreat.

I've heard that if a broken bone doesn't heal right the first time it has to be re-broken so it can be set properly. I'm afraid when I was injured the first time I ran away. I didn't seek God's healing. I hid away in caves of doubt and self pity and tried to mend myself. I thought I had. I was wrong. I've asked for God's healing now, and I may have to be broken - reset. That concerns me a little.

When I sat down to do my quiet time tonight two songs kept running through my head. I was so moved by them that I actually had to stop and sing them (yes, I'm that guy). The first is Sanctuary:
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

It occurs to me that if I that's my prayer, if I want those things, to be true I must be tried. It makes this song difficult to sing, but I can't stop. Every time I stop typing to think it replays in my head. I'm pretty sure a big part of me wants to be that living sanctuary. For the rest of me, the part that can't overlook the word tried, God has provided a second song.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.