I threw the towel in this summer…
I quit. I had had enough of God. It’s not that I didn’t believe God was real, or that I questioned whether or not He existed. In fact I still believed Jesus was God, the only God.
It’s not that I stopped believing I just wanted to stop following
I personally just questioned whether or not this God, cared for me, heard me, saw me, knew more than the number of hairs on my head, but knew my issues and problems and need for an intimate personal relationship with Him.
That was just the thing, with God it no longer felt intimate, or
personal. God felt distant.His love felt cold, and His touch seemed inexistent.
I didn’t doubt whether or not God understood, I simply doubted that God even cared.
I had given up everything.
I found myself sitting at the foot of the cross asking, wondering, pleading, crying out for God to save me… wondering if he left me.
I was reminded of Jeremiah, of the Apostle Paul, of Peter who all left everything to suffer for the sake of the gospel.
I was reminded of the scriptures where Jesus tells his followers that when they choose to give up everything and follow him, there will be suffering and persecution, and that there won’t be this “peace” in fact he says that he came to bring a sword instead, and there will be division…
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12, NIV)
Now don’t hear me translating these words into saying we must seek conflict, and suffering, but I’m simply acknowledging that when we seek Jesus we’ll naturally encounter conflict, division, and suffering.
Even when you’re doing things that are right, people are going to come after you. This has always been the case, whether it’s been Martin Luther King Jr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Nelson Mandela, the Apostle Paul, to even Jesus Christ Himself.
The more you stand for your convictions, the less you’ll be liked and received, and the more you’ll be disliked and rejected.
I guess what I’m saying is, this is the cost of discipleship. I’m not throwing the towel in on God, I just need to continue to cry out for more of God. Continue to seek. Whether or not he removes this thorn in my flesh, whether or not I continue to lose friends, family, or jobs. I’m going to stand firm in my convictions.
But that’s the thing – though following Jesus is simple, it’s not easy. Suffering is an inevitability. It may feel at times as if we’re blind people, one day hearing a voice that compels us to go on a hike, unaware that this is not a hike, but rather a trek, a trek up Everest. So we follow this voice. Sometimes we hear Him, other times we don’t. We simply have to trust he’s there.
How about you guys have you ever given up on God?