Wednesday, June 9, 2010

apathetic guilt vs. grace

Sometimes my relationship with God can be downright frustrating. I'm not mad at God. I'm mad at me. I'm so distracted and distant.

Usually in human relationships, a problem is created by two. Rarely is one to shoulder all the blame. But not in a divine relationship.

Sorry Lord, this one is on me. Along with all the other ones. You are infinitely great... and I'm finitely small. And I blew it again.

I have been longing to be closer to God, and at the same time feel apathetic. And it freaks me out. The busyness of life is making my mind, tired? Every time I get a chance to sit and be still.... my first instinct isn't to spend it with God. The second instinct is, and it is a guilty one.

I've been reading the Psalms. The Psalms have always been comforting to me, but lately I was reading them with this nagging doubt. It goes something like this:

I know the history behind these Psalms. A lot of the desperate ones were written by David when he was in battle or being chased by a son who wanted to kill him. I look over my list of complaints and I don't find any that are remotely close to being that urgent or deathly. My next thought is this, "How do I apply these to my middle class American life?" I feel guilty that my problems weigh me down the way that they do.

Last night a dear friend set me straight. It doesn't matter that my life isn't being physically threatened. If I'm feeling crushed emotionally, spiritually, or mentally... I too can cry out with the Psalmist:

"Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my afflictions and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins." Psalm 25:16-18

Recognizing that there are distresses and afflictions, and giving them to God is so relieving. I don't get very far when I beat myself silly over the things I cannot fix on my own, regardless of their size. It's just another way I try to save myself... rather than letting God's grace reign supreme in my life.

I don't want guilt to make me apathetic anymore.

So, is there a cure for the distressed, distant, and distracted? One step for me was writing this blog. Knowing that my guilt continues to be a roadblock was another step. Expressing the fact that I'm frustrated that I'm far away, and want to desire God more feels good.

This is probably another valley that I will look back on fondly knowing God was next to me every step of the way. And I know that the light is returning.

Where are you? Do you feel tired, crushed? Down trodden, apathetic? Read a few Psalms and be honest with God. He already knows how you feel, you won't surprise Him.

Stay near your people Lord Jesus, stay near me, tis sweet to be near Thee.

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