I'm a rule follower, mostly, and so I wanted to follow the rules in the From Garden to City reading plan. Plus, I said I would blog through the Bible, and I like to do what I say I'm going to do.
Sadly, I found myself avoiding the Bible most of the day. And then, because I like to be disciplined, I would try to do the reading and then just give up. The last one I read was Malachi. Not bad. I thought of some things to say, but writing seemed like too much effort. And then I just kept getting further and further behind.
And I gave up. I just felt awkward.
And I felt far away from God.
Not because I didn't feel connected to people. But because I didn't feel connected to God. And nothing matters more to me than that.
I've been here before, where I felt disconnected from God's presence, from his joy, his strength, his life flowing into mine. Frankly, this feeling scares me. I know too many people who have ultimately walked away from God. And I don't want to do that. I still remember the difference between "believing" in him and experiencing His Spirit living inside of me.
And so I asked God for help. I told Him I missed Him. I told Him I loved Him and longed for Him. I told Him I felt lost and lonely.
And I woke up singing Psalm 51. Keith Green's version.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence, O Lord. And take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.
And renew a right spirit within me.And so I opened my Bible and spent some time there.
The next day I started reading John again.
And Psalm 73. And Psalm 63. And Psalm 121.
I find life in God's Word.
And I didn't want to write about any of this because I needed to take some time with Jesus. By myself. I don't want to just write about what I KNOW. I want to write out of what God is showing me, what God is teaching me.
God has been at work in my life for the last two weeks, as he has all summer long, and I feel a little awkward reentering the blogosphere.
Our spiritual lives do not tend to follow a very linear path. At least mine doesn't.
Sometimes I fight to stay in touch with the one who made me. I wish it weren't like that. I wish staying connected to God were easy for me. And yet I think I'm not alone.
At the end of Psalm 119, the psalmist confesses, "I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands."
I'm so grateful we have such a good shepherd who seeks us when we are lost. Who rescues us from danger. Who disciplines us and guides us. Who loves us.
Yesterday, the From Garden to City reading was Habbakuk. Seemed appropriate since Pastor Mike is speaking on Habbakuk for a few weeks. I happily read it. And Psalm 5.