Saturday, April 21, 2007

In All the Wrong Places?

Have you ever just wanted to scream out to God, “Lord, are you there!?”

There have been plenty of times in my life when I've felt so discouraged and so alone or upset, that I've just not wanted to communicate with God, period. It seems at times as if I keep praying over and over, and over again, for the same ole things and never see any results. I feel sometimes as if God doesn't listen to me. Which in turn leads me to think he must not care about me, which leads me into even further discouragement and eventual despair. How many of you have ever felt this way? It's an endless cycle sometimes, brought on most usually out of my own impatience, and lack of infinite understanding, which only God has. Who am I to question God, after all? But because of these feelings, I often find myself having trouble praying to God. I just get to thinking,
What's the use? What good will it do for me to pray one more time about something I've already prayed about a thousand times over? I think about where I'd like to be at in life and what I'd like to be doing—who I'd love to be—and I reflect back on so many lost or shattered dreams and hopes I'd one time had. If someone had asked me five years ago, “Who/what/where will you be five years from now”, I would have never imagined my life would be where it is today. Funny sometimes how life gives you those lemons, and you just have to make the best darn lemonade you possibly can out of them.

I realized very recently, while trying to put my life back on track, that I've been looking for my life's answers in all the wrong places. I've sought out family, friends, counselors, my preacher, and others in endless attempts to figure things out for myself. I've relied so very heavily on all of them for support. And it's been so odd to me how when I feel strength from that support, I feel closer to God, but how when I feel let down or discouraged by them, I feel distant to God. I only realized these feelings a few days ago. You see, I'd been having a great deal of trouble finding the will to talk to God, or to read my Bible, or want to go to church, or do any of that. I was stumped trying to figure out why I was having those feelings. I know now, it was because I was reflecting my feelings toward family, friends, my counselor, and my preacher, upon God. I was looking to all of them for answers, which only God could ever give me. When I realized this, I found it rather curious how much easier my relationship with God became, though I'm still not completely over the hurdle.

Sometimes it's so very easy to get off track. It's comfortable, tangible, and easy to rely on others as your God. After all, you can see and hear those around you much more easier than with God. You cannot see God or touch him, and whether or not whom your hearing is God can be very confusing. The one you hear and believe to be God, may a lot of times, simply be your own self-conscience. God can be a tough person to know, but when you do know him, it makes all the difference in the world. God alone can carry you through the toughest of times, no matter what circumstances you're in or what issues you're facing. Whenever I'm down and out, I know I can always turn to God for love, support, and warmth. I can rely on him to satisfy all those wants and desires of my heart. He will never let me down.

Now it's true that my idea of what and how God should respond to me may not always come about as I think it should. It usually doesn't. I know that I need to be more patient with God, and myself. And I know that the only way I'll ever truly figure out all those answers in life is to rely on God. No one else can tell me what God can. He's the best guide a person could ever have.

Now don't get me wrong. Friends, family, and the like can be great means of support. Sometimes you need them just to stay sane. Sometimes God uses them to let you know what he wants for you. But overall, it's God alone who can provide you all you could ever want or need. God is where the answers lie. In God I'll draw my strength, because nowhere else, with no one else, can I find the comfort of hope, peace, grace, understanding, and love that comes overflowing through the greatness of the Lord.

Are you listening, God?”

Brandon, each and every word you speak, every thought you have, every everything about you, I am interested in knowing. I love you, I care about you, and I'll never forsake you. You are one of my children, and no matter what hardships you face, I'll always be there to strengthen and comfort you. Look to me, and I'll never lead you astray. If you truly love me in return, follow me—always. That's all I'll ever ask of you. That's all you'll ever need do."

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