Beyond Restoration?

It’s Sunday again but this time, I actually went to church. The one I wrote about a few blogs back. I was so anxious about this I had to take a xanax before attending. Not because it was a new place but because I was afraid it would be one of those deeply “poignant” messages that would feel like God is speaking to me. Then again, if God hasn’t answered me all this time, perhaps it was more like wishful thinking. 

We walked in late, the message had already begun. I obviously can’t share the entire message but I will share the key points that were “deeply poignant” to me. The topic was “Signs, The Impossible”, no not the burger although I thought that at first too. (Still have my sense of humor.) The scriptures of focus, John 6:1-15. The story of Jesus feeding the great multitude (which is actually believed to be around 20 thousand people) with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Jesus posed this question to Phillip, “Where will we get enough food to feed all these people?”

Point #1 Was Jesus honestly asking this question to Philip? Of course not. It was a test. The speaker went on to challenge our thinking on the purpose of testing. He contended that God’s heart behind testing His people was not so we could pass or fail. No, the tests actually reveal how we view Jesus. What you feel about Jesus during peace and calm may not be the same as how you feel about Him during times of trials. He asked us how we feel when we face the impossible. 

This was where my eyes began to fill with tears. I understood and believed that I had failed the test but the truth of how I felt about Jesus was much different than what I believed it to be. This brings me back to one of my original questions, even if God chooses to remain silent, does that change who He Is. Clearly for me it did. 

Point #2 In the face of an Impossible situation, where is Jesus? He is there, right there with them. While everyone else was panicking at this insurmountable problem, Jesus remained calm. The impossible reveals our limitations. Our vision gets locked and transfixed and not see anything past the situation. Jesus is saying, turn your head, see who is standing right next to you. I have not left you, I am right here with you.

This is where my tears flowed without ceasing. I was already admitting to myself and others that Jesus could be here with me, God could have been answering but in my pain, my vision is too limited to see Him. I really don’t know. 

Point #3 Many in the crowd were oppressed and suffering and after seeing His power decided they were going to force Jesus to be their King. A King for their earthly kingdom which they needed to save them from their current situation. Because in our suffering and pain there’s a temptation to stop asking God what He wants to do and start declaring to God, this is what we want you to do. But had He given them their earthly kingdom, they would miss out on the heavenly kingdom. Which brought us to the bigger picture, that there is a greater good. 

Then the speaker shared Isaiah 55:8-11 – 8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways.” “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

I began to weep like a child. I already knew that was the answer. Of course that is the answer, it is always the answer to anything we don’t understand as Christians. I just don’t know if I am ok with that answer because that answer boils down to trust. It is clear that I do not trust Him. I want to be ready to trust Him again but the thought of it scares me because I feel like I can’t take another test or trial although they have not ceased over the last five years. I fear I am too broken this time to be restored. That probably isn’t the truth but it is certainly how I feel. 

As he wrapped up his message he listed many struggles and issues those in the church are facing and he listed everyone of mine. Every single one as if someone had me fill out an issue form ahead of time. He also challenged us to go to God with our pain. Tell Him what we want, cry out to Him and yell if he must, to which I thought, I already have done that. He wasn’t finished though, “but then, be quiet,  ask God what he wants in the situation and listen.” 

I know the urge to attend this church over the last few weeks wasn’t coming from me. I do not think this message was a coincidence. I recognize reconciliation with God is probably the only thing that will save my life in this dark place of hopelessness that has suffocated me over these past 5 years. I wish I could just snap my fingers and trust again. It sounds so easy doesn’t it? Don’t stop praying for me, I can not bring myself to pray anymore so this is where your intercession is appreciated.

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