It’s quiet in the house this morning except for the lull of “a jazzy Christmas” seeping through my computer speakers. I’m kind of addicted to Christmas music this year. If you were to walk into my house at any time during the day you would most likely be greeted by the smell of a combination of “sugared apple” and “candy cane lane” Yankee candles (it was a hallelujah moment when we discovered that a short 10 minute walk from our house Yankee candle was opening their first store in Bologna!) as well as the sound of assorted Christmas music. It’s jazz this morning.
I’m sitting in the dining room with sunlight streaming in through the window, so very grateful that it has finally decided to show up. No lie- there were 2 days of sunshine in November. 2 DAYS. And December hasn’t started out much more promising. I don’t do cold well, but i REALLY don’t do cold AND gray well. Needless to say, there is simple therapy going on in my dining room today as I bask in it’s healing rays.
I’m waiting for Jesus to show up.
Coffee in hand, journal with countless empty pages waiting to be filled sitting on the table in front of me, gorgeous study Bible nestled beside aforementioned journal. It’s the perfect atmosphere for it to happen. Seriously Jesus.
Right here. Right now. Let’s make this happen.
But as has happened fairly frequently as of late, my mind wanders. My hands fidget. I open the Bible, flip to James, stare at a few pages, read a few sentences. Mind wanders. Eyes dart to the window. Hands fidget. Read a few more sentences. Beautiful words. Truth indeed, truth I need to see, need to know. But nothing.
And by nothing, I mean……. there is some sort of disconnect. A disconnect between these beautiful truths that I am seeing on the page, and something in my heart. It’s not reaching there. It’s not settling deep into my bones, changing me.
My walk with Jesus is a living, breathing, ebbing and flowing thing. There have been seasons in my life, long seasons even, when His voice was as clear and recognizable to me as my own husband’s, and then there have been other times when I am fearful I even remember what His voice sounds like. This is the latter I’m afraid.
I don’t know why really. I see His hand all around me. In the kids we work with. In the church where we attend. In the city where we live. His presence is tangible, palpable. So I know He’s here. I sense His moving. I SEE it. David and I talk about it all the time. It truly is an unbelievable time to be in ministry here in Bologna. Such beautiful things are happening.
But still, His presence seems, to me at least, to be distant. A ways off even. Out THERE.
I rarely neglect my “time” with the Lord. Almost every day after I send Love off to school, I sit down at the dining room table with my cup of coffee and my bible, and I study. I pray.
But for some time now, it’s felt more mechanical than personal.
And I hate it. I hate the way it feels. After such intimacy with the Father, this sort of distance feels painful and dissatisfying. I want it to go away. But there’s no formula for making that happen. There’s too much humanity in the way. Too much imperfection.
Too much me.
NOT ENOUGH HIM (cue dawn of enlightenment- it’s actually happening as the words tumble onto the page!!!).
not. enough. Him.
There are, and have been for some time now, various circumstances in my life, nary a few, that have drawn my focus inward, when they should have drawn my focus upward.
Dang it! I’ve missed it again!
How in the world can I continue to get this part wrong? After 29 years of walking with the Lord, I STILL screw it up.
Praise God for His grace that is profoundly sufficient. And His mercies that are new every morning.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Maybe I totally throw caution to the wind and scandalously decide to go for a run instead of sitting down at the dining room table first thing, and ask God to meet me there. Feet pounding the pavement, short of breath, sweaty and red faced.
There is no formula for meeting with God. He is with me. He goes before me, comes alongside me, and follows behind me. Circumstances, well, they are just that. Circumstances. They will come and they will go. They will be beautiful and they will be devastating. But the God of the Universe; He is the same. Yesterday, Today and Forever- He is the same.
Maybe it’s there, on the road, that I begin to feel His presence again. Hear His voice again. Or maybe, just maybe I miss it again.
And He waits for me. Unwavering. Unmoved. Steadfast in His love for me. He is constant. Praise God, He is constant.
I’m praying for you. That you are hearing His voice. That your walk with Him is personal, and intimate. That your heart is feeling what you head already knows. But- if not, if not, know this; that I am praying for you in that too. Because my sweet friends, He is there waiting for you. And He is constant.