This morning I woke up with a song in my head – it was one that got a lot of radio play in the 90’s by Jewel. The song, which speaks to going through the motions of life, has a line that says, “I feel so far from where I’ve been”. That is sticking with me this morning, and I feel like it applies to me right now with God. I feel so far from where I’ve been. I am the lost sheep, only I didn’t realize it until I looked around to see nothing familiar, and the Shepherd’s voice that I long to hear had grown quiet.
The reality is that God doesn’t play peekaboo, he is not hiding his face from me and wondering how long I will give in to the anticipation of seeing him again. James says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (Ja 4:8a)”… so what gives? AM I not seeking? Again with the games… I never liked hideand seek. As an only child it felt frustrating. You finally have other kids to play with only to indulge in a game of hiding from each other? I could have stayed home if I wanted to feel lonely. Only this is not a game, this is my relationship with the One and Only Creator and Savior of the world. And yet I feel like a sad kid at a picnic who can’t find her friends. As I read more in James, I was struck by the familiarity I had with the passages, but yet for some reason, I never knew they all went together. (Another reason it is good to know a verse’s address… then you find out who it’s neighbors are!)
Or do you think it’s without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously? But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says:
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Thank God for his grace. Yes and amen. Next part… The grace is ours, true, but it is in the humbling submittal to God. Then we draw near to him and he to us. It’s like a puffer vest. Which I admit I have bought, although I have no idea why. Our climate typically doesn’t support the need for the item, not to mention it looks terrible on me, but I digress. When we put on a vest stuffed with the cares of the world, and fluffed with personal concerns and interests we all look pretty ridiculous. And, have you ever tried to hug someone in a puffer vest? If we care to get close to God, we need to unload our own “good intentions” and “good Christian expectations”. Depuff. Lay ourselves out before the Lord, weep and ask for cleansing.
So my advice to myself? The distance is in the decision. Jesus is coming after me, ready to return me to my pasture... His pasture. And when he says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs” he’s not talking about a loss of spirit, or poverty like a hunger. He’s talking about true reconciliation with the fact that humbly, we are His. To use as he will, for what he will – His Spirit is jealous for complete sovereignty within us. Only to be had when we deflate on the outside, and let him inflate within. My decision today is sorrowand mourning. Yes, I feel so far from where I’ve been. And just like the breakup song that inspired that line, I should embrace the ending of a relationship. But if I breakup with myself, the promise is for a far truer relationship than that which I was holding on to, to begin with.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.