Tasha Layton writes in her beautiful song, “Into the sea”
My heart is breaking
In a way I never thought it could
My mind is racing
With the question, “Are you still good?”
Much like the words above, have you either bowed your head in defeat or raised your head in defiance with the very thought that God is not good. Perhaps you’ve toyed with the idea that He is remote, cold, or even unreal? How could, why would, race through your mind continuously and the seeming inconsistency of who we want God to be and who we think we see physical evidence of are opposites from each other. Does that ring familiar? I’m here to encourage you that these thoughts are not uncommon. But most importantly, God knows the thoughts, and the pain behind the thoughts, and loves us despite them.
Recently, the idea of “cancel” became a hot topic and its own culture.
The idea is if someone says or does something that offends to a high enough degree, that person is simply ignored (deleted/blocked/written off). The offender might not even know they had offended or given the opportunity to learn, grow, and ask forgiveness for the offense. Or the offender was given the opportunity and conversations didn’t go the way the offended person wanted. Canceled. Essentially, “you are dead to me.” As a person with an overabundance of the gift of mercy, this is a concept that I cannot practice. However, I have been in close proximity with those that do practice this and I find it heartbreaking and alarming. (Disclosure: I’m not talking about toxic or dangerous situations here. That is another situation altogether!)
A few times in my life I was strongly encouraged to turn my back on people who offended without attempting to build a bridge for reconciliation, and I did for a time, but my heart was broken, and I hated every minute of it. It didn’t feel natural to me. It didn’t feel healthy! Over the years I learned that it absolutely was NOT healthy and have since attempted to mend or reach back out to those people. God, who lives in the heart of the believer, reaches towards people all the time (Nehemiah 9:31). He never turns His back, and He is always open for the repentant heart (John 6:37). He asks us to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Jesus tells us that He leaves the many to chase after the one (Luke 15:4).
So, back to the question of God’s goodness. Tasha continues by writing,
From beginning to the end
You’re so close
You have never let me down
And You won’t
In the valleys, in the shadows, I know
You’re so close
You’re so close
God IS close to us. He is close to the one doubting. He is close to the one hurting. He is close to the one shaking her fist. He is close to the one that has arms crossed and jaw set. He is close to the one on her knees. He is close to YOU. He is close to me (Psalm 34:18). Praise Him who does not sleep and is never distracted and will not “cancel” His creation (Psalm 121).
Taking that step toward God
You might be reading this and longing to reach toward God but are unsure how. Perhaps you are reading this, and you’ve been feeling the strong magnetic pull towards God but you’re not sure what to do next. You might be reading this, and you have some serious questions and doubts. This is your next step. Pray, seek, knock, ask….Luke 11:9.
Allow me to pray with you. Jesus, today we seek You in truth. We are knocking on Heaven’s door to meet You, standing here with our hands open wide, not holding anything back from You. We ask that You meet our questions, our doubts, and our fear with Your love, compassion, and authority. Jesus, we don’t want to miss the life that You have planned for us. We don’t want to turn our backs on a destiny that is so much more than we can imagine. So, Jesus, take this tiny little seed of hope and faith and plant it, cultivate it, nurture it into a mighty life that gives honor to You. Thank you, Jesus, that You come after the one! Amen.
If you would like to learn more about my personal journey towards a God who met me at one of my darkest hours, in my divorce, you can find my story here. https://oklahomaslices.com/critical-steps-for-surviving-divorce-part-1/