There is something awfully delightful about a lonely existence. I delight my heart in the silence I find midst the bustle of life…I marvel in this more as I sit in a coffee shop just taking in the loneliness of how busy life can be. I liken it to sitting in a room full of people fully absorbed by the aching loneliness that lingers within. In this same breathe I am reminded that life is this hollow hole of unanswered questions… a lingering in the heart of humanity that is like a gaping hole in the soul. We find ourselves yearning and searching to fill this ‘need’. Avoiding the silence in which we allow our hearts to ‘feel’ once more…for the fear of feeling is far more overwhelming to the human heart than engaging in the numbing process of self preservation. This very aching of the unanswered ‘why?’ leaves us devoid of engaging with our deepest need. The lingering desire for intimacy often stifled with temporary satisfaction.
This month I start life with the deep pain of the unanswered God. Let me make this clear that I find my heart disturbed by the depth of abrasive circumstances…yet there are glimmers of a hope so secure it lingers in the intangible God. Many times in life I am asked what it is that keeps me going…it is a simple ‘yes’ to face the day ahead that strengthens my resolve to continue once more. A ‘yes’ I cannot describe other than the intangible God marking me with a fierce tenacity to not cave under the pressure of life….but like most people I too am human and today I sit at this place fully caved in and bleeding. This is the story I long to share.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God? (Isaiah 40:27)
This verse burns my soul for I find myself at the very place of disregard. I feel like I have been lost and forsaken by God. Here is the back story to how I got to this place. I have been living in the US for the the past year and 8 months and for that entire time I have seen my mother battle with cancer. Nothing beats down the soul more than seeing a parent suffer the anguish of uncertainty with a disease destroying her body. My mother is the most amazing person in the world and to see her wounded in this manner breaks my soul. More than anything seeing her cry in a hopeless manner…is so much more than the heart can stand. I have called home and heard her sobbing on the other end…in fear of dying. This has ripped me apart more than words could ever describe. This very unanswered situation has left my faith in God shattered.
Like most of humanity I have chosen to avoid and numb my soul. The Lord however is faithful in his pursuit of my emotions. This past week pressure building on the inside has come to a point of overflowing. I am at the place where I can no longer avoid my anger and my frustration. I am broken by the ebb and flow of prayer and life. I have come to see that I have a yearning to be answered, I have a hole in the depth of my soul that wants to know why. Why God? Why my mom? Why this family? If anything I am coming to the place of discovering my fear of feeling anger. Ideological conditioning has taught me that feeling fear and anger is shameful…somewhere in my life I have been taught that God is angry when we fail at being ‘good Christians’ or that he hates our anger towards him. This lack of dealing with our deepest questions leaves us hopeless and devoid of intimacy…we start making agreements about the nature of God without even engaging in the dialogue.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28)
So easy it is to put my hope in the tangible things, when in fact the soul is intangible. My emotions can only fully be satisfied by the intangible God. I find this more and more the reality of my life. Friendships are fallible, no matter how amazing they are…they are deeply fallible and leave you hurt and longing to be touched in a manner that words cannot. I love the friends I have but the deeper they grow, the more I see the reward and the flaws. I am wired in a way that leaves me a tad bit frustrated. I have touched a depth within the Lord than has left this unquenchable need to be fully satisfied. The more I speak about problems with friends I am left feeling both relieved and aching. It is like the words of comfort they speak deeply resonate within me, yet another part of my soul just feels empty…like they are just words. Often I find myself retreating and just sitting and bawling my eyes out. Will anyone EVER understand? This week my heart was reminded again that God is real…it is in the quiet of my room that I find a friend who truly understands…an intangible friend who touches my soul and comforts the ache. The one who I find through the tears, the anger and the desperate attempts to hide. The one who knows what I feel even before I do. The one who draws me to him and accepts me back when I run from him. The one who engages my soul at a level that keeps me hoping midst the barrenness of life.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
When my heart stops a little midst the anger and pain, I find that I can cry and breathe in the intangibility that touches my soul. Trust rests solely on the anchor of his nature towards me when no one else sees me. I have been forgotten in this life by many….abandoned and rejected. Yet in the moments when I am most alone I feel the Lord drawing me in to a place of peace and comfort beyond the confines of life. I am drawn into a deeper knowing that he is. I am marked again and again by the Jesus who was abandoned by his closest friends. He knows my pain and conflict more than I realize most days…today I remember this truth.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 15:34)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)