FAITH: Lord, Where Else Would I Go…
Marching into 2013, I have never been so happy to say farewell to a year! It feels like our family has been in one storm after another for the past 5 years, but it felt like it all became an intense series of explosion in 2012!
I had never felt so lost as I had this past year. The voice of the Lord was distant, and when I did hear from him it was confusing, which made me question whether or not it was even Him. Endearing friends and close companions, much like Job’s friends, offered prayer, advice, and love. But I must confess, I don’t think I weathered this storm very well.
Looking back on 2012, I cannot say yet that it makes much sense. The memories are all still very raw and painful. I feel as though I am anticipating the stress to amp up again, but I am grateful for the present reprieve.
Walking into this past year, I felt focused and strong. However, leaving it, I’m insecure and confused. Throughout this year, questions plagued my mind… What went wrong? Where did I blow it? How could things get this bad? Where is God? Why if He’s all-powerful, and His Spirit lives in me, do I feel so weak and abandoned?
In the midst of all the pain and desperation, some days all I could pray was “Help me, Help us – Do something!” because I was doing everything I knew to do. The extended periods of His absence, began to weigh on my faith. More and more scripture was being twisted in my mind. I even contemplated if my faith in God was real… was He real…
Then at what could have been considered one of my lowest days, I heard the clearest question:
Will you leave me, too?
To which my heart immediately responded without contemplation:
To whom would I go to?
I quickly went to that story in John 6 where Jesus spoke to the multitude of disciples, and the words he said to them where confusing… no, actually downright gross and weird – but Jesus’ words offended His disciples, pierced their hearts, and exposed their motives for following Him. Disgruntled and offended the multitude of disciples left Him. He turned to His 12, and asked them, “Will you leave me, too?”
When I reflected on this past year, it was as confusing and chaotic as I can imagine Jesus’ words were to the multitude of disciples. None of it made any sense, but when it came right down to it, He was getting to my heart. Jesus has been challenging the condition of my heart, and getting to the root of why I follow Him.
In the end, nothing about 2013 has been guaranteed to be any better then 2012; however, this I know to be true… I may have not weathered the storms of 2012 well, BUT I’M STILL HERE!
I can now say, in the deepest part of my “knower” the part of me which says, “I know, that I know, that I know” is a true foundation of Jesus Christ and the truth of who He really is to me. Because when I was asked by Him if I would leave Him, too… without hesitation, irregardless of my feelings, despite what I saw, and in spite of everything I had lost – through my sobbing, I whispered a very weak no.
Friends, that is the relationship our Father in Heaven is looking for! He’s not looking for ones who will do everything perfect. He’s not looking for the ones who never fall weak, never doubt, never want to quit. And He’s not looking for the ones with all the answers. He is looking for the ones when they fall down, when they do doubt, when they’ve lost for no reason, when they have no answers, and even when they want to quit and walk away – in the end they say Whom else would we go to?
See, that was the heart of the greats like Abraham, Joseph, David, Peter, and so many more! It wasn’t that they didn’t fail and give up a time or two. No! It was that they kept going in spite of it! They all knew in their “knowers” that it was about God alone! They knew He ALONE, not their circumstances was their hope! He ALONE, not the goodness of what He could give them was what sustained their relationship with Him.
I don’t know what you are going through. Maybe you feel hopeless, depressed, forsaken, lost, or confused – maybe all the above and more. Maybe you feel as though God has passed you over and has plans for everyone but you. Or maybe all you have behind you is a series of failures and disappointments. Maybe, like me, you are contemplating walking away from it all – the church, the ministry, the people, the family, the job -the whatever. But something deep, deep inside is pulling you to stay for one more day. That’s your “knower” its the foundation of what your entire faith is built on – it’s the whispers of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of Jesus Christ in you. It’s your true relationship with the God of All Heaven and All Earth.
See, my storms have been the test of my heart – Jesus said to the multitude of disciples:
I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you…
In other words, Jesus was checking to see if my heart for Him was conditional based upon what He was providing for me or was it because He alone is enough.
When it comes to that question, is He alone enough, I don’t think I could have answered it honestly without being stripped, over the past 5 years, to varying degrees of what felt like everything.
Today, my future is still a great unknown to me, and all I see are a ton of unanswered questions. Yet, this I know to be true, if God NEVER, EVER answered a single prayer, never honors one promise spoken over my life or the lives of my family, and if He never reveals another truth to me, in the end I would still LOVE HIM – because He ALONE is enough to love.
So, if you are still hanging in there in spite off all that is difficult, discouraging, and lost – then you too can be encouraged that in your “knower” He alone is enough.