In everything we face, God remains

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The past few weeks have been a spiritual struggle for me. I haven't felt like praying. It's seemed like a long time since I've experienced intimacy with God. Reading the Word has sounded anything but appealing, and the word that's come to mind when I think of opening the Bible sitting on my desk has been, "ughh."

Conversations with other people? If I said what I was thinking my answer would be, "Uh, sorry, I don't know who I am right now because I haven't really been praying or spending quiet time with Jesus, which in my mind usually defines who I am, so I have nothing to contribute and feel pretty inadequate. ... Let's keep this surface-level."

I've been wondering what's wrong with me while simultaneously having no tangible complaints, trying to maintain an image that I am a mature, spiritually saturated person. Life has been good, but lacking fervor. All this frustrated by the fact that I don't get why it's been happening -- and also my lack of concern that it is.

A verse that has always amazed me is 2 Timothy 2:13: "If we are not faithful, he remains faithful, because he cannot be false to himself." I love it because it comes after a sequence of things that are logical: getting rewarded for the good things we do, getting denied for denying God. This verse is the opposite of what my human senses expect, always throwing me off a little bit and delighting me into needing to read it again.

I am so grateful that even when I'm off doing my own thing God stays and loves me. Another verse that echoes this is Hebrews 13:5: "I will never leave you, I will never abandon you."

This kind of security awes me and makes me ask why. Why would God choose to stay with me when I'm making only a little effort to be with him, but mostly feel like just a body walking around through my life? I am grateful for the answer:

He loves me, and I am his.

My identity isn't bound up in appearing to be a "good Christian;" my identity lies in my Father and the fact that he has called me his child. I matter not because I pray and read the Bible and really love Jesus, but rather because God says I matter. He is the one who chose me when I was left for dead, the one who wanted me.

He understands the "whys" of my struggles and the bigger picture of my life. I don't have to be anything -- I can exist in him as I am, letting him be the one to do his work in me. Remembering God first loved me frees me to want to love him, to see being with him not as drudgery but as joy.

Through everything in life, there is one thing I am sure of: when it feels like everything else is gone, God remains.

Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.

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