Today I finished the first revision of What Kind of Love is This: Finding God in the Darkness, a memoir of my journey to reclaim my identity. The last words I typed, “See what God has done… He loves you,” reminded me of my struggle to trust God’s unconditional love. Those words also acknowledge how far I’ve come. Still, I occasionally struggle to understand the events of my life, but writing my story helped put some pieces together for me. As I thought about how to express my struggle, this blog, written a few years ago, seemed appropriate. My relationship with God continues to grow as I include Him in my daily life through prayer, study and simply being still. Perhaps my post will help you realize your beauty and value in the eyes of the Creator.
“Sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much.”
This 70’s hit by Dan Hill, conveys the struggle of feeling and expressing love. When I looked up the words to the entire song, I realized that many of the lyrics could apply to God’s relationship with us and our relationship with Him. Sometimes when God touches me, His honesty seems too much. Sometimes, I don’t want Him to see the “real me”. The truth is He always sees the real me. When I let go of my pride, only then can I truly experience the Honesty of God’s touch. Only then can I allow Him to hold me until my fear, pride, and pain subside.
Trapped within my truth
How many times have I cried out to God, “how could you let this happen?” or “You can’t really want ME to do that, do you?” Sometimes I don’t wait for an answer and simply return to the safety of what I know. I dismiss the still small voice as nothing more than a passing thought. After all, I know me better than anyone. Sometimes I argue with God as if He really doesn’t know what is best for me. I stay trapped and immobile because I choose to stay trapped in “my truth”. I don’t want to move out of the safety of the familiar and the comfortable. I fight the honesty of God’s touch. Until that moment when he brings me to my knees because my truth suffocates me. Once on my knees, God’s presence pours over me with power, peace, and strength. At that moment, all is well. My mind tries to comprehend the touch but cannot. His love surrounds me and I realize the “real me” is more than my thoughts, habits, and hurt. The real me has been touched by God to be all He created me to be. His truth heals. His truth reveals. His truth brings peace.
He understands How Hard I Try
Sometimes we try too hard to experience God. The truth is God is everywhere. He touches us every day. I recall a time shortly after my husband, John, died when I commented to a friend, “I don’t feel God. I know He is there, but I don’t feel His presence.” I tried hard to make the feeling of God’s presence real, but nothing worked. Finally, one day as I drove to work, I saw streams of light piercing the clouds on the horizon. I smiled through my tears as I felt the honesty of God’s touch for a moment.
I realized at that moment that God always wants to touch us. I also realized that His touch comes in unexpected ways. Sometimes it comes from a friend who calls at just the right moment to comfort or encourage us. He touches us through worship when we feel Him through music. Those passing thoughts that prompt us to be more than we think we can be are often God’s touch.
“Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[c] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31.
Like Peter, we have to get out of our “boat” of our expectations to experience God’s touch. Once we step out of the boat, His hand will keep us above water if we stay connected to Him.
We don’t have to work hard to feel His presence, but we do have to ask, listen and respond when we feel the Honesty of God’s touch.
God is constantly reaching out to us. His hand is always outstretched. Our task is simply to grab hold of the hand and allow God to lead us from our “truth” to what He has in store for us.