I arose early today looking for God. He wasn’t lost, I know He hasn’t gone anywhere but I cannot sense Him and this is not something I can change easily. When I read the Bible the words barely touch the sides of my neurons as they slide down into the oblivion of forgetfulness. I pray, and there are two voices in my head; one mumbling pleas to God, the other mocking me and sowing doubt. Pausing to listen for the voice of God, I hear the fridge humming irritatingly, the fire pinging, a child coughing and a dog sighing. Where is the ‘on’ switch for a spiritual life? I let my hungry stomach remind me of hungering for God… until it becomes distracting and toast beckons. A cup of tea also, to resolve the parchedness of body at least. With body fed and watered there are now no distractions, aside from the nagging impatience to connect with God in the next five minutes before I need to get the kids out of bed…
I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:6-8 ESV)
Have I been stood up? I kept my appointment, as I try to each work day. Did God not show up? One way to view this exercise sees a deluded middle-aged guy reading a reprinted translation of a very old book while eating breakfast. He is struggling to concentrate, re-reading the same passage, occasionally putting his head in his hands and mumbling for a few minutes (perhaps with a headache, or are those delusions troubling him?). Another view sees a child of God wanting to grow and craving to know his Father. So he reads God’s words, turning them over and pondering how they apply today. Praying and accepting that God answers in His own time. What makes the difference between these two views?
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV)