I don’t often start my mornings with such questions on my mind. I often am startled awake before dawn and make a beeline for a programmed coffee pot stirring my senses with steaming hot goodness.
My day starts with coffee and prayer. I have a typical spot to settle as I seek the Lord by praising Him for who He is, what He has done, and what He has purposed for the day and coming days. I often turn to praying for my family and for those He brings to my mind. Praying for wisdom and confessing any known sin, often He will bring to my mind scripture that is filled with hope and promise.
Today was different.
It felt different. Assuming it was because this isolation had been extended another 30 days, I found myself questioning what it was that I was supposed to do with the sobering knowledge that life was being put on hold, again.
Recognizing that while my situation was far from dire, it felt ominous.
The question was not, “Why, Lord, is this happening?”, but a question of “Why, Lord, does it feel so ominous?” I fully believe that it’s okay to ask God those hard questions. Looking inward, I ask, “Am I trusting You to take away my fear?” “Am I ignoring the truths that are planted in my heart?” and “Is my heart heavy for the right reasons?” (Am I grieving for those facing eternity, the suffering, and the pain of separation–or am I just feeling sorry for myself?)
Grief is a part of life. While some are grieving the loss of jobs or the loss of valuable time spent with loved ones, others are grieving the loss of life. We can’t deny grief it’s place; we can’t just pretend that it’s not there. Being honest about what we are feeling doesn’t mean that we are weak. To some, admitting my struggle might seem like a valid argument for nay-sayers who might ask, “Where is your God now?”, but my faith says something very different:
I believe that my spiritual condition is a crucial part of my emotional condition.
I decided right then and there that I would not accept that this ominous feeling was coming from the Prince of Peace.
“God, Your faithful love is so valuable
that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They are filled from the abundance of Your house;
You let them drink from Your refreshing stream,
for with You is life’s fountain.
In Your light we will see light.”
Approaching God with our fears, our doubts and our questions is not wrong–it is the beginning of wisdom because seeing the world from His perspective only comes when we get in His presence. “In Your light we will see light”!
I am a realist and I understand that there will be many things we won’t fully understand until heaven. The fact that God gives us His Word to reveal truth to us is blessing enough. Trusting that He is omnipotent (all powerful), I know that God is not taken by surprise or flabbergasted by world events. From His perspective, when we ask Him to give us answers it must be like trying to describe the law of gravity to a toddler!
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Like a child, we have to choose to trust our Heavenly Father to calm our fears and hold our hand until He leads us to a safe place. Not always safe physically or even emotionally (we can’t trust our emotions!), but a spiritual safe haven where we see our situation from God’s perspective:
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in His holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not set his mind on what is false,
and who has not sworn deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah”
Do you find yourself questioning your circumstance or your condition? Do you live in fear of the unknown? Go to Him. We “ascend to the mountain of the Lord” when we bow in prayer, but notice the requirements for entering such a holy place:
“The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.”
Because of this pandemic, my hands have never been cleaner! But coming to God with clean hands and a pure heart is more than just “getting our act together” or trying to work harder at being good–it is a cleansing process that begins when we confess our sin (clean hands) and when our heart is fully devoted to Him (pure heart).
Peace will never be found in our mind or in our circumstance apart from the presence of a loving God who has provided it so generously. Call out to Him today. Look to the Creator of all things. He knows. He loves you. And He is faithful. He promises to walk beside you on this journey of faith. [Read more about how to have a relationship with God here: FAITH]