I can’t tell if I’m trying to get something out because I’m grieved, or because I’m grieved at how long it took me to grieve… if that makes sense.
Sometimes I feel smothered by my happiness. It’s been happening more and more lately, building until I want to drown and pray that God will have mercy and do something tragic to me quick, before I suffocate.
I started evaluating it through the lens of some relationships, wondering why I have it so good. What did I do to deserve anything? It’s actually, why am I NOT getting what I really deserve? It troubled me. And then during prayer a few nights back on of our staff shared on sexual slavery in a video – and showed us a portion of a sex trade documentary, “The Day my God Died.”(http://www.thedaymygoddied.com/) We were only shown a small portion of it and afterward, we were encouraged to pray. I tried to pray but all I could do was sob. Long, awkward, loud sobbing was all I could muster. I kept trying to offer words, or something but it all seemed trite. What could I say? What was I supposed to feel? All I could think about was why that wasn’t me. Why is my life so wonderful? It bothered me – I felt like it wasn’t fair. And I hated myself for it. I loved God, and I kept thinking to myself, “God, if you love me, you’ll let me have my portion too. I can’t stomach watching everybody suffer, while I ponder after dinner dessert.”
There’s a person I love who I’m watching suffer right now – a very dignified suffering, and I’ve only been privileged to partake of very small bits at random times. But the the thought of how hard their life must be constantly gnaws at me. I want to do something, but I feel like I can offer nothing.
God roused me tonight. And He asked me a question.
I don’t think I’m as fortunate as some to be able to regurgitate to others the questions that God asks me. There’s no inflection, no tone, not even words really. It’s more of a feeling. That grows into something bigger. This is how I might define conviction. Is this normal? Is this what everyone means when they say God “talked” to them… and they just give Him their own words? I’ve always wondered.
In the middle of my grieving for this person, my thoughts were immediately interrupted and taken to the Sunday service yesterday at church. I can’t really summarize what exactly he taught (sorry, Lee) but what I really pulled away from it was actually a sidebar. Healing is ONLY from God. People can only help so much. Yes, we need each other and can even depend on each other. But only to a point (a very sharp and abrupt point it often happens to be). Attributing your healing to anything- or any ONE else, creates an immediate idol in your life. What is happiness? What defines a good life? Who is exempt from suffering? What is the hidden treasure in sorrow? What sustains our desire to live?
God is the center of all these questions… or He should be. I’m realizing that I don’t really see it that way. I have created idols in my heart. I have lived almost 28 years and have been yelling, “God, I want something to show for this!” And when I look at others who are older and see that I have more “something” to show than they do… and I feel burdened by it, I have just made “something” an idol. I have made it the standard. And the feelings I get from being happy, and seeing that others are void of those “things” that make me happy – and I feel distraught for them – I have made “things” an idol. It’s all pretense – and has nothing to do with Him.
I’m not trying to escape the command to mourn with those who mourn. Sobbing is needful, and aching for others is natural. Life pricks us, and we feel pain. But pain must be borne – by everyone. But God is our haven – and I have so often failed to see that. I have defined the goodness of my life by the things He has given me, but have failed to seek goodness in God Himself.