Today I’ve spent time thinking about what happens when the feelings fade. I know I’ve talked before about how feelings lie. That concept was brought to my attention several months ago and I never understood what was meant by it.
Let me try to clear that up (Just as much for myself as for anyone else who randomly stumbles onto this post):
Let’s say you have a friend. (Most of us have at least A friend we can use for this scenario, so it seems a safe bet.) Anyway, you and this friend decide to go to dinner. You sit down at the restaurant, you order drinks for the two of you and this friend never comes. 10 minutes pass, 15 minutes pass, 20 freakin’ minutes. If you are a friend like I am a friend, you’ve started to get frustrated. You’ve done called them. MORE TIMES THAN YOU SHOULD ADMIT! You’ve gotten no answer. You’ve texted and not gotten a response. Now you’re starting to feel not just mad, but rejected. You’re starting to feel like perhaps they forgot about you. You wait 30 minutes and FINALLY that stinkin’ friend of yours walks into dinner, hands covered in black grease and sweat dripping off their brow.
A flat tire…. DANG GONE IT.
So, did the friend reject you? Did the friend forget about you? No. The friend had a dead cell phone (because isn’t that just classic when you’re going to have car trouble!!) and a flat tire.
The same thing happens in our spiritual walks. (I mean false feelings, although I am sure there is such a think as a spiritual flat tire.) God is always there. ALWAYS. There are specific times when God makes himself incredibly known. He needs you to feel his presence for specific reasons. Sometimes you’re going through a rough time. Sometimes you have a decision to make. Sometimes he knows you need to specifically FEEL his love. Other times, God is ever present, but we don’t necessarily FEEL things. That is where faith kicks in. I think those are specific moments where Christ is really asking us so step out in full faith and follow him not by sight.
He’s asking that we stop groping at the wall and using it as a “feel guide” through life. For some reason, that vision is really powerful to me. Rather than living a Christian walk where you are in the dark feeling your way cautiously down the hallway, dragging your feet on the ground to make sure you don’t trip over an unexpected bump, Jesus is begging that we grab his hand. Step into the light. And walk in faith.
That requires a lot. Sometimes that means abandoning some of the truths you’ve believed for WAY TOO LONG. It means embracing forgiveness and grace. It means being in a constant state of repentance and reconsideration. It means being in the word and taking in the things God wants to reveal to you.
Today I was reading Esther and a friend was talking to me about the Bible Study she is currently attending. They are studying this chapter, and one of the things she’s learned is that this is the only book of the Bible where God is not specifically mentioned. However, that doesn’t me he isn’t present! The presence of God is all throughout Esther’s life and Mordecai’s (Esther’s cousin) as well. The importance of coincidences that are too big to be coincidences are ways that we know God is present. This is true in the book of Esther.
One significant part that stood out to me is that Mordecai (Esther’s cousin who took her in as a child) was to be put to death by Haman, a royal official of King Xerxes. The NIGHT before Haman is going to hang Mordecai, Xerxes couldn’t sleep. **This is where God starts to work. Sometimes it’s something as small as not being able to sleep.** Because he couldn’t sleep, he asked that the chronicles, which documented special events of his reign, be brought to him and read out loud. So, as Xerxes is suffering insomnia, he requests this book to be read (he could have chosen to do ANYTHING else with his time) and as the book is being read to him Mordecai’s name comes up. (You know, the same Mordecai that Haman wants to murder, yeah. Him.) Mordecai had earlier overheard a conversation between guards plotting the death of King Xerxes. He then sent word to Esther and Esther sent word to the king so that it would be avoided. This event was documented in the chronicles that are IN THAT MOMENT being read to Xerxes. Xerxes asks if Mordecai has ever been thanked for his actions and the answer (OBVIOUSLY since Haman is trying to MURDER HIM!) is no. So!–Literally HOURS before he is to be hanged, Xerxes instructs Haman to show Mordecai the recognition he deserves for saving his life. (God’s irony is just so perfect sometimes. Literally the dude who was going to murder Mordecai now has to dress him in the best clothing and parade him around the city saying how awesome he is! HA!!)
Needless to say, Mordecai’s life is spared. The story get’s even better. Xerxes get’s mad he murders Haman and the Jews start kicking some serious butt. I would tell you the whole story, but maybe if I don’t, you’ll go get in the word yourself. 😉
I specifically share this story to show you that even though the “high” of God’s AWESOME grace has worn off, He is still an awesome God. One that shows up and takes care of us through “coincidences” even when he is not specifically named. One that presents himself to us when we actively seek him. One that gives us gentle reminders as encouragement. One that is there whether we “feel” him or not.
Sometimes it’s helpful to pull back and see the coincidences in our lives that are more than coincidences.
Sometimes it’s helpful to remind yourself that feelings lie.
*shrugs* Maybe God had a flat tire and a dead cell phone.