Driven by Doubt

O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.” (Psalm 83:1 NIV)

Sometimes God feels so close it’s as if He’s standing over me. At other times He feels so far away, He might as well be on the moon. Sometimes He feels so close at hand, I walk into His throne room without even realising. My prayers are all jumbled because my words come tumbling out. I can’t even wait to finish my first sentence before I’ve started my second! At other times I can’t feel His presence at all. Praying is painful and I can’t help but feel that my prayers are rebounding, bouncing off the ceiling. I spend my quite times sitting in silence, almost incapable of stringing two words together in prayer.  These two extremes are intertwined at times.

Ask yourself?

Have you ever felt that your prayers are rebounding, bouncing off the ceiling?  How does this make you feel?  What sort of effect does this struggle have on your faith?

Sometimes reading my Bible is a breeze. I’m so wrapped up in the Word I lose all track of time. Although, every now and then I go through a dry spell where not much seems to make sense and nothing sinks in. Sometimes serving is a pleasure. At other times it’s a chore, and a bore. Sometimes I can’t wait to get to Church, although at other times I can’t wait to get out of it. You get the picture? Sometimes my relationship with God isn’t quite right. Everyone goes through dry spells sooner or later. Maybe I just go through them more than most!  If you ever find yourself going through a dry spell don’t beat yourself up about it, it happens to us all.

Ask yourself?

Do you too feel a distance between you and your God sometimes?  Use the space to fill in your thoughts.  Take as much time as you need.

Bible-bones

Maybe it would help if you read Psalm 22; it’s a Psalm of David.  This story begins with David doubting, and ends in his God bringing deliverance.  Find encouragement in this.

Here’s an example of one when I took a day-trip up to Summer Madness 2008. At the end of the service I could see so many people engaging with God, I wanted that too. I missed the way it was. I really wanted things to get back on track. I felt like I was in such a rut. I remember telling God that I wasn’t going to budge one bit till He spoke to me in some way. I waited, but there was no response. I sat for goodness knows how long, getting myself all worked up about it.  By then time had ran away and the crowd with it.  I was left wondering why God wasn’t talking to me?! We’ve all been there and done that, right?

Then it hit me. When I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself God did answer in a way. You see, God speaks in the silence. He seemed to be saying that everything has to be in His time and on His terms. Learn from my mistakes, don’t do it! God is not accountable to anyone so don’t demand that He explain His actions. If you’re struggling in your quiet times keep on striving. If you’re finding prayer to be a pain, pray on anyway, tell God how much it pains you while you’re at it. If you don’t feel like worshipping remind yourself that He is worthy.  I really do believe that there’s something powerful about worshipping Him when you really don’t want to.  There’s been times where I’ve had to force myself to praise Him but He’s blessed my obedience.

I wrote this in my scribble book a few months ago; pray it with me why don’t you… 

Even if I can’t feel Your Presence

I will follow You all the days of my life.

Even if I can’t hear Your still small voice

I will listen and obey Your every command.

Even if I can’t see any sign of the Sovereign working His wonders

I will lay down my life before You Lord.”

Allow your fears to drive you deeper into your relationship with God. But don’t use it against God to get your own way.

Think upon these things…

God is answerable to no-one. We’re accountable to the Almighty, not the other way around! Don’t expect God to explain His actions.

Heart-cry…

I’d encourage you to voice your pain. Put it into your own words.  If you’re struggling use my prayer to get you going and then pray away…

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My Not So New Job

So,

on the 1st of September I started my new job. I took up the post of Youth and Families Worker, working between two Churches- All Saints LEP and St Mary’s Northchurch. All Saints is a joint partnership (Anglican and Methodist) and St Mary’s is an Anglican Church.

I am so blessed to work with some really committed Christians whose generosity, support and kindness have bowled me over. The welcome I have had in both Churches has been overwhelming. One of the benefits of taking this job was being given a bungalow as part of the package. This originally came unfurnished. However, within the first month of my arrival every piece of furniture that I could possibly need was delivered to my door. Not only that, but gifts of homeware came pouring in. I couldn’t be more thankful to both Churches for giving me a house, and helping me turn it into a home. I have finally finished painting the 5th out of 6 rooms, so I can move on to welcoming people into my new home and sharing it with them. To have such a wonderful gift and not share it would be a waste.

Please pray for me as I adjust to my new role. This job is very different to my last. I will be doing a lot more work in schools, both Primary and Secondary, as well as working with a broader age range. I have also been trusted to do more from the front, from children’s talks to sermons (my first being in December).

Looking forward to what’s ahead,

Connie :]

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