For those of you who follow, you will have noticed it has been a while since I have posted. Although the timing of my online absence coincided with the social upheaval due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not the pandemic that precipitated my withdrawal from active blogging. Rather it has been what I can only describe as a spiritual lull.
Some of you may have experienced what I mean. Or perhaps not. Let me try to explain.
First, it might be helpful if I try to describe what I mean when I talk to you about my spiritual life. My spiritual life revolves around my relationship with the triune God. If you don’t know what I mean when I say “triune God” I mean that my God is One God in Three Persons. Yes, I know it may sound odd, but it is true. If you want to know more about the Three-in-One God, I discuss it more in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But for the moment, the important point is that God is a Person with whom one can have a real relationship. In fact, my relationship with God consists of a relationship with all three Persons of the Trinity.
Good relationships require an investment of time and energy. Friends talk to one another. They do things together. And a spiritual relationship with God is no exception. I communicate with God in prayer and in turning the attention of my inner being toward Him. He speaks to me through the Bible; in a still, small voice within my heart; and sometimes through other people.
So, about the spiritual lull… God asked me to do something. Basically, He asked me to take the next step in my spiritual walk with Him. He asked me for permission to… well I guess one way to describe it would be to say He asked me to allow Him to be the one to decide how to best use my time, day by day, every day. And if I would be willing, to do whatever tasks He may lay before me.
In other words, He asked me to trust Him just a little bit more.
Now, I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with God, or indeed if you have any kind of personal relationship with Him at all. But I will tell you this, God may ask things of us. Sometimes He commands us (and all of His commands are good and right). But He never coerces us. We always have the option to say yes or to say no, to obey, or not to obey.
That doesn’t mean we get to choose the consequences. Just like in the “natural” world, actions have consequences and we are rarely the ones to decide what the consequences will be. For example, if you jump off a high place, gravity will cause you to fall, and you may get hurt. God commands us for our good and warns us of the consequences of disobedience.
In my case, what God asked of me was the next logical step in a relationship with Him that has spanned many years. It is the next step I needed to take to trust Him and rely on Him just a little bit more. And I know the consequences of that trust will be good – because that is the kind of Person He is.
But, guess what? My response was to hold back, to withdraw, to procrastinate. (Any other procrastinators out there?)
Do you know what it is like in a relationship with someone when you know they are waiting for you to do something and you are not really sure that you want to do it? Some of us react in different ways. When it comes to letting go of the control we have (or think we have) in any area of our lives, most people react with fear. And fear can be expressed in many ways: anger, frustration, stress, anxiety, or in my case, withdrawal and procrastination. (If I don’t deal with it, maybe it will go away, right?)
And so, I have been experiencing a spiritual lull. God has been nearby, patiently waiting for me – mostly in silence. I have been mentally holding up my palm toward Him and turning away my head, saying, “I know… I know…” and doing nothing.
We fear letting go. We fear taking the next step into the unknown. But when it comes down to it, isn’t that where faith comes in? We take a step of faith, not because we know what is coming, but because we know the One who will walk with us. Faith is not about trusting that our circumstances will turn out the way we want them to. Faith is about trusting the Person who walks along beside us.
And so, here I am again. Turning my face back toward My Savior and choosing to take the next step.