Sunday, December 14, 2014

When He Is Silent

     I've never been much for speaking. I know its the main channel of communication with other people and such but even so, more often than not when I try to speak, really speak, I can't seem to quite conquer the task of illuminating my thoughts in full to those I wish to make them known.

     So I write.

     I write because it seems to be the only means by which I am capable of allowing others to see what I see. Even then, there are many times when my mind is so uncomfortably confused that not even writing could open that door without either leaving room for questions or unleashing a beast I have so affectionately named "Didn't Want to Go There". But now? Right now is a rare moment in personal history when God has decided to clear my mind, that I may write. So, not to let this moment escape without an attempt at making the most of it, I write. Yes, I have borrowed a computer which so conveniently holds at this moment a 90% full battery and yes, I have brewed a fresh cup of coffee at precisely 10:42pm. Just for you. So you may hear whatever it is God is about to lavish upon the internet through...myself.

     Believe me, I'm more scared than you are.

     There is a somewhat atrocious list of things concerning Christianity that I know are hard. I'm sure you could conjure up one yourself. Life experiences make people realize that during their walk with Christ, certain aspects are just plain difficult. Overcoming temptation, trying to muster the right words of encouragement to a brother or sister, trying to muster the right words of accountability to a brother or sister, learning how to come to Jesus after messing up...I could go on. There are, however, things concerning Christianity which I never particularly thought to be on this list. For example, letting God use me, I thought, was one of the few parts of Christianity which I assumed to be easy. I'm learning that is far from true.
     Funny the different tactics God and humans exercise as far as teaching goes. Mankind tends to adopt the "Tell 'em how it's done so they don't screw up" approach. This technique is exhibited through parenting, government, and education. The latter is usually solidified by the use of finals (I give mankind credit for many inventions of this day, finals are not one of those inventions.) I don't know about the rest of the world, but throughout my life God has seemed to enjoy the slightly more painful, much more effective "Here's what to do, but you're going to screw up, so when you're done trying on your own, I'm here" technique. As much as this way hurts, I'll take it over finals any given day.
     Back to assuming my significance, I guess I can blame the Bible. It's only a giant book of historical accounts about God using people that are hopelessly useless. Weak, broken, insignificant people through whom God expresses His power. Many times these people start off closely resembling myself and by the end looking more like nothing I've ever experienced. This, I suppose, is the reason I have always assumed that my usefulness to Christ is simply- there. What I fail to remember is the fact that while all of those people spoken of in the Bible were weak, insignificant, useless people, they all had to make a choice at one point or another, sometimes many points, to choose God. To choose faith. They were all faithful, some more than others and others much more than some. Even so, over and over, the Bible shows God to work through weak, broken, insignificant, faithful people. To dig even deeper, not only did God work through these people's faith, but He specifically chose the people of whom He knew would be faithful. So I propose the question, to you, to myself, when God decides to use me, will I have the faith to allow Him to?
       I try to fix so many things on my own. You can take a guess at how many of those things I've succeeded in fixing. In round numbers, the answer is zero. In fact, approximately every percent of the time I recall making things worse, and I don't mean to jump to conclusions, but I'll bet that I'm not alone, either. I'm weak, I'm broken, and most of the time I feel sufficiently insignificant, probably because I spend so much time trying, and trying, and trying again to be significant, instead of allowing Him to be the significance in me.
     Life is hard, and following Christ only makes it 100x harder. It's priceless in worth, I know, but sometimes it's just so hard to see! As I said before, I am weak. Struggling through life every day wondering what my purpose is and how I'm supposed to be used by Christ both today and for the long-haul, and not seeing any glimpse of assurance that I'll ever make any kind of impact on the world is exhausting. It's exhausting to sit quietly in faith, especially when my faith is so horribly weak, and the only thing that makes it strong in the slightest feels a thousand miles away. It's hard not knowing where to go and when while the only One who knows has decided to be quiet at the moment. It's tiresome, getting so close to tasting the true holiness of the King and then failing, again, in sin. Utter sin. Sin is a tiresome thing, and I am trapped. It's in my very nature. Why would I be surprised if Christ seems distant when I've deliberately tried to run the opposite direction? It's exhausting to be searching for Him, flat on the ground, balling every tear miserably, pleading for an answer, a word, a whisper. It doesn't even have to make any sense so long as I know that it was there. Silence. Following Christ is hard.
      I fear that one day, after waiting for so, so long, the opportunity will come. The opportunity to show faithfulness to my King. I fear failing. It's a strange thing, being saved by Grace and still living in the world. Clean, and corrupted.
     It's often asked of God to give us strength. God I ask only for You to be my strength. If strength is merely given to me I will surely misuse it, or forget to use it. Lord, be my everlasting strength in my time of need, in my time of waiting. Be my encouragement to those around me. Be my wisdom in my speech and in my conduct. Lord, be my discernment. Do big things in my life, God. Be my faith. Be my faith in the time of calling. When at last I am asked to show my faithfulness, show Yourself.

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