Side By Side

I’m just like you.

Yeah, I write a “spiritual” article, but I assure you, I am no elder at my church. I skip services sometimes, I blurt out a curse word frequently, and I don’t pray before every business meeting. I think that it’s important for you to understand that, because I think that often times the readers of a “spiritual” article just naturally assume that the author is this extremely religious scholar of the Bible.

And I’m not.

I’m just a guy that struggles with my spirituality and my own walk with Christ. And as I’ve aged, I have these periods where I can sense His presence in my life and feel that He is truly leading me each and every day. There are also periods where I feel that I drift from where I should be and become quite frustrated at my lack of devotion.

And for whatever strange reason, I feel like I’m currently adrift a bit and am losing sight of the shore. My beliefs are the same, and my trust in God is the same, but I just don’t feel like I’m making the progress I should. Hopefully I’m not the only one out there that has ever felt that way, because it’s a pretty lonely feeling.

Psalm 145:18 tells us, “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” The Bible is chock full of LOTS of verses about how God is always with you, and how He is constantly thinking about you, and loving you. And perhaps, that’s the part that I struggle with sometimes because if God is always around me and worrying about me, then He’ll be there later when I want to pray to Him. But then when I don’t, I just figure that He’ll be there tomorrow where I can lay some of my concerns at His feet. But then when my meetings run long, and my dinner was cold, and I’m awfully tired now, I just figure He’ll be there next week when I have a day off.

And the reality is that He ALWAYS will be there beside me. The question is will I be there beside Him as well, or will I be running off in the wrong directions with God following behind?

And once you’ve done enough running, sometimes you just sit down in the dirt, tired and out of breath, and you look around. You sit there, breathing heavily, and look around. You realize that you don’t recognize where you are, and are quite confused, and then you just feel low. And lost.

And I guess that’s just where I am right now. I’m sitting in the dirt, a little lost and confused, and pretty ticked off at myself for the distances I run in the wrong directions. My only solace is that I know who is sitting right there beside me in the dirt: Christ Almighty. He’s got His arm around me, and just whispering at my heart about the direction that will lead me back to my path and that I should FOLLOW Him.

If Mother Theresa was “close to God” because of her behavior and how she lived her life, we all naturally assume that she was very near to God. Hitler was the exact opposite and we all assume that he would be very far from God because of his behavior.

But the reality is that I don’t think that anyone is “closer” to God because of their behavior. I believe that God is just as close to all of us. I believe that God was there weeping for Hitler as he did his heinous acts, and he was there with Mother Theresa celebrating her endeavors. Just as He envelopes me during the times when I am growing in my faith and devotion, and He chases me like a child as I run off chasing temptations and my own destruction.

But the point is that, for each and every one of us, God is with us all. No matter where you are currently, He is there. If you refuse to accept God and don’t believe in Him, He is still there. If you are strong in your faith and are growing daily, God is cheering you on. And if you’re like me and are currently sitting in the dirt out of breath, He is with you as well.

Like many times before, I will stand up, dust myself off, and resume my path in the right directions. And hopefully my next diversion is shorter and the path back is easier. But no matter; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


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