Wednesday, March 30, 2016

when I have not seen

Has Jesus ever been hard to hear?
To see?
To feel?
Does it ever feel like he's far away?

He's felt like that a lot for me lately.

Today I feel overwhelmed.
There's been a lot of life happening these last several months
-a LOT of ups and downs-
& more days than not,
I feel weak, empty, & confused.

Often I find myself
aimlessly wandering,
desperately striving,
& scrapping for something to hold on to.

When I quiet myself before Jesus
I often just see my own problems,
thoughts, & frustrations.

I don't see Jesus.
I don't see Heaven.
I don't see angels.
I don't see the throne.
I don't see gold dust.
I don't see burning fire.
I don't see miracles.
I don't see the fruit of promises.
I don't see the path before me.
I don't see goodness.
I don't see kindness.

I. Don't. See. Him.
Or feel Him.
Not even one bit.

& that can be maddening.
It can wreck your theology, & challenge everything you ever believed about a God who comes close, who never turns his face in anger, who never pulls away.

But, one thing is for sure: I do not want to be an Israelite.
I do not want to see the goodness of the Lord one day,
and then turn from him the moment I no longer see it.
I don't want to be led out of captivity by the Almighty,
& then get stranded in the desert because I've found other gods.

So while I don't feel him or see him,
I've found much comfort in the pages of my well worn bible,
a concrete and tangible reminder that he is still speaking.

I've been reading through the gospels for the umpteenth time,
and this time I'm seeing something new.

People got to be with Jesus.
They got to reach out and touch him,
to feel him.
They got to hear his audible words,
and breath the same air that he breathed.
They were close- in the very same place.

& yet they didn't see him,
nor did they understand.

He spoke in parables,
& confused the crap out of people.
His own disciples didn't even understand him most of the time.

He was present, there in their midst,
yet he hid himself from them.


To see who would really come after him?
To see who really wanted what he had?
To reserve the inner sanctum for the ones who proved their devotion, who wanted it most of all?

I don't know.

The only thing I do know is this:
the gospels are full of Jesus saying things that cause confusion.
He leaves loose ends.
He doesn't answer the why questions.
He doesn't give three point sermons with explanations and diagrams.
He says things and walks away before people even understood what he meant.

The only people Jesus really sits down and spells himself out for are his disciples, and ohmygosh I swear they hardly ever understand him either.
And, yet, when all is said and done, and Jesus has breathed life after death, and his disciples are finally starting to see what's going on, he says to them,
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Oh, Jesus. You are so backwards.

In the midst of this season of not seeing him, & in attempt to not be an Israelite,
I've learned a trick from the Psalms-
I get my trusty journal
and I write.
I write to lay myself bare before the Lord,
to remind myself of who He is,
to recount my history with Him,
to retell my soul the stories of His goodness,
and to reunite in right communion with Him again.

So today I remind myself:
blessed are we-
the ones who persevere in the midst of chaos and confusion,
the ones who don't see him & still choose to believe,
the ones who Jesus has left with loose ends for a time,
the ones who feel the weight of despair closing in, yet command their soul to sing a song of victory,
the ones who hold on to hope, declaring that he is forever faithful.

Blessed are we who have not seen & yet still believe.
He is here, in our midst, doing a good thing, and teaching us something that will only make sense in retrospect.
He is trustworthy and GOOD, even when all evidence says otherwise.

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." 
-Psalm 27:13 &14

1 comment:

  1. You are wise and I am so blessed to be your friend.


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