"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love..."
Oh how those lyrics tear at my heart as they resonate in it all at once. It's so despicably true.
I feel like You and I are in some sort of twisted spiritual mexican standoff - so ridiculous to think I could "win," against you, but even as I confess that, I realize it is falsely accusatory toward Your very nature - the good and loving God that You are. The Great I Am - You are love, and even in Your silence, You do not cease to be loving, kind and merciful.
And yet, here I stand, against You, in so many ways, in my heart.
This standoff is strange, admitting that I alone stand in the adversarial position. But I can't see you, and I am uncertain, how do You stand? Are Your arms reaching out? I don't feel the draw of them.
I am not actively "IN SIN." Or oughtI say I am not sinning in action, though in my inaction, I may well be guilty.
I have no desire to read Your Word, it's an act of rebellion, certainly, but I just don't care to know what You might have to say to me. I am certain it is not what I want to hear. Praying has become nothing more than cursory and occasional. With my children, for them if they ask, but not from my heart - not even the "good morning God" prayer that used to always acknowledge at the start of each day. Rather I awake aware of Your presence but with a refusal to address it, or You, in any way-- until I look at the things in me that seem to be falling apart. A quick "God help me" utters forth but then I stop, I don't continue in the prayer nor do I wait to see if you will answer it.
I am a spoiled and selfish, self-centered and self-seeking brat. If I were my Father, I would turn me over my knee and beat the rebellion out of me. But You don't. You say nothing, You do nothing, You leave me to the misery of my own devices, wallowing in self - might I drown there?
Is this a desert? I have been in the desert before, and it was different than this. In the desert I wasn't able to find you at all- here I feel fully aware that You are indeed present, waiting perhaps, watching I am certain. I don't think this is the desert, I think this is somewhere else-- a land I've never been in before. Someone said it is a "land between." But between what? A past mixed with triumph and regret and a future I cannot see? Perhaps.
I spend my life "reading" - people, situations, plans. But there is no "reading" You, no "reading" what You might or might not do. Even fully confident in Your character brings no guarantees - it does not mean pain, hard times and suffering are not necessarily ahead, because Your "ways" are not mine - and prosperity or success are not automatically defined as blessed. Even I know some of the greatest "good" in my life was birthed out of the worst things that ever happened. And I know my worst does not compare to the worst of so many more -- back to the spoiled and selfish child.
I don't know what to do, or why we are here. I don't know if You have brought me here, or if like the one sheep have wandered, and the sense of Your presence I feel is You stalking me down to bring me back. I can't help but wonder, Good Shepherd, will you break me so I don't wander this way again?
Wander is a strong word. I'm still here, I still have You in my sight, I'm even walking with the flock, but I cannot deny the truth -- my heart is not in it.
As I sit here typing this these words are playing in the background:
God of Mercy, show your mighty hand.
God of wonder, breathe on us again.
You're my King and all-consuming fire
Heaven shakes, Your might tears up the sky
Surrender all, surrender all
I'm dead to sin, alive within
Surrender all, Surrender all
God almighty, change my dark to night
God of passion, gave your blood as life.
(PARACHUTE BAND - SURRENDER ALL LYRICS)
Is that what You are calling me to? Driving me to? I think of Jacob again when he wrestled with you. He fought, all night, but in the end, he walked away with a bad hip and a new name-- a blessing of sorts, but at some point, did he surrender? How? How do I?
This isn't working. That's all I am sure of. That same first song comes to my mind again...
"Take my heart Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above."