an answer for the awkward

Dear God, I don’t know what is at the root of our disconnect, but I want you back. I repent of everything about me. I am humbled that You would even draw near to me in the first place. Now that I am used to knowing Your presence, I can’t live without it. Please have mercy on my tired soul. Please revive my heart to burn for You again. I can’t live in “ho-hum” feelings for You. I need to hear my heart cry out to You for daily rescue.

When my heart is full and my thoughts are choppy it’s easy for me to neglect deep prayer. I’m distracted anyway so when I try, it takes only a few moments for me to pause and think now what was I just doing?

And sometimes this full, choppy dance in my mind can go on for days.

I know that I should be Practicing the Presence at all times, and when life is on a plateau I tend to coast to save my strength for the momentum needed for the next high or low.

Coasting leaves me feeling like I’m hiding sin or entertaining a sinful idea. These inward accusations distance my trust from God; I feel like I must protect myself from His coming wrath. And just like that, the streams of living water that nourish my soul begin to dry as I turn in on myself.

I become disconnected and dry.

I want to believe that at this place in my journey with the Lord, I would not allow any out-right rebellion to take hold of me and have its way for weeks, months, or worse.

So it happens. I wake up; ready myself for time in the Word and in prayer – just like every other day – but being with the Lord feels awkward.

An unknown awkward. A heavy awkward. And for no apparent reason.

So I smile as if meeting an acquaintance for coffee. I’m not sure if we are on the same page, and so we go through the friendly motions not really getting past the superficial talk. I make it to the end of the Bible “assignment” and that is what it ends up being like. An assignment. I mentally shake hands with God and move into my day.

But no! I’m not going to go through this cycle anymore.

I can’t allow my deepest need to go unmet anymore. I cannot smile at the awkward scene another morning. There is definitively something wrong with me when this is the case.

I must examine these things:

  • Is the Lord testing me?
  • Am I entertaining thoughts or desires that are definitely sinful?
  • Are my relationships with others strained? Is there a person(s) that I must go and make things right first before my fellowship/worship with the Lord may be pure?
  • Am I keeping secrets of any kind? Do I have someone who loves me enough to hear me bear my soul? Maybe I have become content with telling on myself only to God and He wants me to become accountable to another believer who is more mature than me.
  • Will I repent of sin(s) as the Lord reveals? When was the last deep repentance and brokenness over sin? I must pray to be poor in spirit.
  • What area of my life – physical or spiritual – is draining me?

I pray the prayer above that goes against my fearful tendencies and opens up my heart to the only One who can heal and satisfy.

I ask the Lord to break me.

And He does. Weeping, my tears precede the river’s flow.

Oh how this needs to be a regular prayer. I see so much of my own acceptance of “dry seasons” as a tolerance of hardness in my heart. The reason for the hardness, I must say, is only clear in hindsight. In the season I am usually ignorant of the cause!

It’s in the dry seasons with the awkward feeling that I must learn to full wait on the Lord instead of walk away.

Sometimes it’s important to simply learn to work to stay in His Presence. Both fully resting and fully waiting on the Lord. It takes courage to get to the other side of the awkward.

Have you ever felt this way?


Affiliate link in post: The Practice of the Presence of God

 The next article is called “Redeeming Excitement.” Don’t miss it: Subscribe to The Home Learner 

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