I get sick of fighting. Doesn’t every warrior deserve a break? Must every single decision be for one side or the other? Does it have to be a lifelong battle? I know the victory is already won through Jesus’ death and resurrection, I know He gives us the power to overcome, I know if I surrender to Him He’ll fight for me. But I’m human, and I get overwhelmed.
Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. I talk spiritual stuff on this blog – about God, and the joys of having Him teach me things. But my life isn’t all like that. I have times of feeling distant from God, and I can’t get anything out of the Bible, and my prayers don’t seem to go anywhere. I get tired of fighting. I want to slip into neutral and let life make its own decisions for once. I wish there wasn’t this internal struggle between my fleshly desires and God’s ideal.
I was having one such phase recently. A couple of nights ago, I reached for my Bible to read, but nothing seemed to sink in. I went to put it back, but something made me flip over to Psalms instead. I started with Psalm 42, and came to verse eight: “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindess in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, my prayer unto the God of my life.” I read Psalm 57, noticing verse two: “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” I jumped to Psalm 138, especially verses seven and eight: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” But I ended up in Micah chapter seven verse seven: “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”
Maybe that seems like a jumble, but my tired heart found comfort in the psalms, and latched onto that last phrase from Micah: my God will hear me. I lay in bed contemplating, going over each of the words until I was overwhelmed. My: it shows ownership. God is mine, and this means I am His. He claims me. God: this is the same God who created the cliffs and rich blue water I’ve lately been looking at, who made the moon and clouds I could see out the window. He made the universe, and He claims me. Will: it’s definite, it’s absolute; it leaves no room for doubts. Hear: He’ll listen, and He’ll understand. He’s got the whole world to worry about, and He understands me. He gets what’s behind all my frustrations and fears. He understands what I can’t even put into words. Me: little tiny me, one of billions, on this speck of a planet. God, the most majestic Creator, claims and understands me.
I don’t know how to explain it, but God was close. I realised my struggles, my fears, my frustration at not seeming to be able to get to Him, He understood. He knew everything I’d thought and done, and He still claimed me. He still wanted have a relationship with me. He created tons of stellar planets, landscapes, and people – most of whom have more to offer than I do. But He’s there for me.
And He says the exact same thing to you. He understands what you’re going through, even when you’re distant from Him. He claims you even though He knows the times you’ve slipped. He chose you to have a personal relationship with Him.
It’s still a battle. Our minds are always going to be a war zone. But He’s right there. His name is still Immanuel, God with us. Fight on, friends.