Friday, March 4, 2011

Aching Faith

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with emotion that you feel like you just might burst?  Part of you wants to scream at the top of your lungs and the other part wants to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over your head.  You literally physically ache all over. 

Lately, I am there more often than I am not.

The emotions.  The longing.  The impatience.  They are so hard to handle each day.  But, in a way, it is this experience, these difficult emotions that have brought me so close to God.  I feel Him.  I hear Him.  I see His hands working all around me.  Would I have been able to experience God in this way without experiencing the difficulty?  Probably not.

I find myself turning to the book of Psalms often.  In the past, this book just confused me; David at times seems so bi-polar.  Such as in Psalm 88 where he says, "But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.  Why, O LORD, do you reject me and hide your face from me?"  Then the very next Psalm begins with: "I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."  The entire books seems to be a roller-coaster-ride of emotions, of doubt and praise. 

I get it now.

God continues to show me His unfailing love and faithfulness everywhere--through songs and people and sermons and things I read--even while I am in the midst of the fire.  While it feels like I am not getting an answer to my pleas, He is showing me His love and comfort. 

My heart still aches. 

I am still overwhelmed. 

But I know He is here with me, holding me, working things out in ways I cannot yet see. 

I am confident that He has great plans for me.  And yet, I still cry out to Him.

Never before have the Psalms struck such a chord in me.  I am understanding now that David was not bi-polar.  He was human.   

And so today, I will leave you with a verse that sums up where I am...full of praise and trust in God, even as I cry out to Him with every aching fiber of my being:

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
  your love, O Lord, endures forever --
 do not abandon the works of your hands." 
    ~Psalm 138:8

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