Emerging from the fog

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 09:26 PM

 

Have you ever experienced one of those days (or maybe a longer period) when you just felt out of sync? You find nothing in particular to which you could point that would explain the fog, the dislocation, the emotional sense of slogging through oatmeal with molasses-coated shoes. I was having one of those days a few Mondays ago. More about that in a moment.

A couple questions for you to ponder. Has God stopped loving us when we do not feel loved? Has he abandoned us when we feel out of sync, in a fog, dislocated, distracted, distant from him and others? Or maybe he just loves us less when we do not measure up to his standard, true?

The hymn writer Charles Gabriel wonders how God could love him, a sinner, condemned, unclean. We have all been there, right? We wonder how God could have possibly chosen us to be the objects of his eternal affection. That is the humbling part of grace. We don’t deserve it. As one song writer asks, “So who am I to accept this grace that just falls like rain, ‘cause we all know I chose to lay my head in this desert?”

The problem is, too often we don’t move beyond that place of humble recognition of how far we are from God. We don’t allow his rich, strong, everlasting, sin-conquering, soul-changing love to fill us, and free us. The answer to all three of the questions above is “NO!” God does not ever stop loving us. He never abandons us. He does not love us less when we fall short.

Through the prophet Jeremiah God speaks consolation to our hearts when we feel separated from him and all his blessings. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” Grasp that with all your might. Cling to it. Repeat that to your soul over and over. Live in it. Don’t ever forget how much God loves you!

Back to my experience of a few weeks ago. As I sat down that night to journal I wrote about how strange I felt all day, noting that even in my conversations with people I felt disengaged. As I later told my son, what I wrote next gushed forth in a couple minutes, almost as if someone was giving me dictation. Maybe this creative expression can connect with your own heart when you are feeling distant from God, and remind you that he is the great lover who is constantly wooing you.

 

Strange

The distance that can appear

Like a fast-rolling fog

Obscuring all my heart rests upon.

Who bid you come

Strange visitor?

Was it my own heart

Still frightened

By an infinite intimacy?

 

Strange

That such love

Would unsettle me

When it is all my heart

Yearns to experience.

Who sent you here

Strange visitor?

The lover of my soul

To pry away

Yet another layer

Of foolish resistance?

 

Then come

Release me

From delusional self-security

That insulates my heart

From everlasting love.