This blog focuses on tying the Bible together with real life. And real life, as you may have noticed, is full of struggle, discontent, and confusion. That being the case, most of the posts you read here address the undesirable effects of being human.
I try to make some sense of life in light of what the Bible teaches us about God, goodness, pain, love, and a host of other intangible concepts.
And when everything comes together – when reason and love give birth to hope and trust – we feel God shine.
The latest David Crowder Band single, “Let Me Feel You Shine” captures this sentiment beautifully. If you haven’t heard it or don’t know the lyrics, have a listen. I’ll wait.
While David sings from the perspective of one longing to feel God shine, today I write from the perspective of one who is feeling God shine.
I am on the other side of the confusion and pain, and I am here to tell you that it is possible to feel God shine once again.
When life feels entirely hopeless, when life is too painful to press on, when all you can do is lie on the floor and whisper “Lord” over and over between the tears, knowledge is of no comfort.
We (and others) can remind us of God’s goodness, of the hope we have in Him, of his sovereignty, of His love for us. And we know these things to be true. But we don’t feel them to be true in the midst of suffering. And that lack of experiencing truth in those moments allows feelings of hopelessness and despair to take over.
And then we feel guilty for feeling hopeless, and the negativity multiplies. It’s a terrible cycle to be in.
But something that may prove more comforting than all the academic reminders of God’s wonderful attributes is someone else’s personal testimony that they have been there and not only survived, but now flourish.
For someone else to say, “I know the depth of the suffering you are experiencing. I’ve felt hopeless and guilty as you do right now. And the Lord, He delivered me. It’s true – He revives those who are lowly in spirit,” (Isaiah 57:15).
When someone shares an experience like that with you, the ember of hope is gently blown on. It lights up, ever so briefly, and dares you to hope again, ever so slightly. You hold on to that other person’s story of deliverance and begin to think, “If God rescued them, maybe He will rescue me too…”
You have a death grip on that thought. You treasure it. You continue to lie at the Lord’s feet. You continue to cry. You ask the Lord to rescue you too. You decide to rest. No more doing. No more reading. No more talking. Rest. There is nothing else for you to do but wait on the Lord to do His part – to work for your good (Romans 8:28).
And then He does.
It may take weeks or months or years. But, eventually, He answers your plea for mercy. And with a flood of His love, you feel Him shine. SHINE!
You experience everything you know about God – He is good; He is in control; He does love you; He does have a plan to use your pain for good. Hopelessness is defeated by Truth.
I know. It happened for me. And, if you want Him to, He’ll make it happen for you, too. If you are feeling hopeless today, hang your hat on my story. And then rest while God writes your story.