I was recently feeling out of sorts and distant from God. It got so bad I climbed aboard the Condemnation Crazy Train, which took my mind to places it didn’t need to go. I started asking myself if God was mad at me, and at one point began to wonder if I was even saved! Yes, it can get that nutty in my head sometimes. This was one of those times.
Despite all the irrational things in my head, I had enough sense to realize that I hadn’t been abiding in Jesus as I usually do. I had gotten caught up in the busyness of life and have been trying hard to improve how I eat and exercise. The next thing you know, I was feeling wonky. I had fallen into my habit of abiding in myself and all my issues. I longed to connect with Jesus but felt too condemned to connect. Wow, is it ever complicated to be human sometimes!
Jesus, faithful to His promises, spoke to me through an entry in Jesus Calling: “I carefully crafted your longings and feelings of incompleteness to point you to me.” From that sentence, I understood that all my wonky feelings were designed by God to point me to Him. I also understood, perhaps for the first time, the value in those wonky, out-of-sorts feelings!
Jesus tells us that we become dried-up, powerless branches if we don’t abide in Him. How awful it would be to be a disconnected branch and not know it! Those feelings of disconnectedness are not to be ignored or silenced through junk and busyness. That’s how sheep wander, sons leave home, and coins get lost. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there, done that, and I don’t ever want to go back!
I am starting to understand that our neediness is not a problem; it’s a blessing! Feeling needy and disconnected from Him acts like our check engine light. They are telling us we are in dry branch mode. That’s a good thing. When we use that God-given gift and turn it into condemnation, what’s meant to be a blessing gets used against us by the enemy of our souls.
The enemy tells us our wonky, check engine light feelings are a sign of God’s presence being pulled from us. He tells us God is angry and distant. And he may even throw in the idea that hell is looming in our future or some other such nonsense. We begin to feel we are too much of a mess, too needy, and too far gone for grace. I say poppycock to all that crud because nothing, and I mean nothing, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
My crazy head junk told me God would take everything from me because I was too self-absorbed and needy. But Grace (aka Jesus Christ) tells me all that self-stuff is my check engine light, hand-crafted by Him to point me back to Him. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest!” And when I accept that invitation, it’s like adding a quart of oil to my dry engine. My soul finds rest, and the check engine light goes out. Until the next time I run my engine dry.
We find our lives when we give them away to Him. He is our life and our source, and when we put that into action and abide in His presence, we live refreshed and sated. So, I thank you, Jesus, for the wonky, out-of-sorts feelings and count them all joy because they lead me back to You!
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