I recently read that an obstacle which can block the peace we long to feel (which comes from God, the author of peace) is prayerlessness.
Upon first glancing over this statement, I hesitated to agree. Naturally, due to the human condition and apt for err and the ebb and flow of life, one can have a healthy prayer life, yet still feel an absence of peace.
But then I really thought.
And it’s true. It doesn’t have to be THE only obstacle or reason…
…but it’s true nonetheless.
During my earlier years, prayer was my strongest aspect in my relationship with God. It came more easily to me than the other ingredients for a close connection with The Father. Reading the Bible diligently did not happen as easily. That was harder to maintain consistently. Faith was there, and the understanding of Truth, as well as the belief. Yet prayer just seemed to flow from the already conversational-oriented person I was created to be. It happened naturally and I was always very thankful for that, understanding that it was not as natural a process for everyone.
But something unidentifiable has changed. Within the past few, waning years. I cannot pinpoint when the change occurred, I only notice that at some moment, within the last 5 or 6, it wasn’t as organic an act anymore.
That saddens me. And when I read that statement, it came together — the pieces fit, to my surprise.
I recently, tearfully confessed to my Maker
that I haven’t felt peace in an enormous amount of time.
I’ve been praying over these years. Obviously. But in direct correlation to my previous prayer life and the past few years…it may as well be a desert where a Great Lake once stood. It became more “obedience” driven than a strong, yearning desire to go to Him with everything – unable to wait any longer before telling Him what was on my heart, in my head, in my life.
I find myself lacking in so much. And it’s Him. I’m lacking my Father. I’m lacking His soothing touch, His transcending comfort and understanding, His perfect wisdom. Because I stopped seeking it as passionately. I became my obstacle. (And if you know me behind the multitude of layers I usually try to lay barrier with, you would know that I am consistently my own greatest roadblock.)
Saturday, He resorted to patiently “pull teeth” in waiting for me to talk to Him. I turned the radio knob, until the click of silence. I shook my head, still defiant and stubborn and who knows what else. I swallowed back the eminent tears at first, with pursed lips and an undermining ere. Knowing the absurdity of my thought even before its completion when I murmured “It’s nothing…I don’t know…”
“You know. Go further.”
“Fine. I’m scared. And ____, and ____…”
“Don’t just tell me what. Tell me why.”
“…I don’t know…”
“Yes you do. I want you to hear it. You need to give it to me.”
This isn’t me claiming to audibly hear His voice, but the Spirit intercedes. It’s a quiet urging. A silent assurance in the corridors within. It’s a way we’ve been time and again – this, our specific understanding of communication. The Spirit, I’m learning more and more as He increases my days, is of tremendous involvement in the growth and grasping of my role in His inheritance.
The rest isn’t important to detail, but in that short drive, I was unraveled. Not in the way of falling, in the way of becoming more free.
Yet completely free, I’m still unable to allow myself to be. I’m still pieces of debris, littering my own way to release from captivity. For He has finished it. Christ has already overcome. Once. For Always. It is all that was needed for eternal. I just have a nasty way of reverting to slavery and ignorance.
“…if I am still on this earth, it means He has intended for me to do something more. If I didn’t have something more to do, He would reward me by taking me home to Him.”
Going home is a reward. One I truthfully look forward to with such relief and knowledge of beauty. For that day is the end of slavery, the end of tears and the flesh of sin triumphing. But the breath of new mornings is the same, unexplainable and beautiful gift. For if He intends for me…He intends. Something more to show me. Something honoring to be an instrument for. Something humbling to be taught and refined by.
Therein lies another portion of peace. But it had to come by my surrender of truth. Not through clearing my throat and “pushing through” or “staying strong”. Through falling. Through letting the grip go. He doesn’t need me. He chooses me. And I despairingly need Him enough for the both of us. When I forget that, I notice my unsteadiness. And my languishing hunger for Him comes through by all means and absences thinkable.
I did say it out loud. I relinquished pretense and stuttered out the why.
I learned as I spoke. The Spirit gave that awareness to me.
I hung my head as I dropped it to His feet.
He lifted my chin and reminded me of my worth and His Love.
He and I know. He’s guiding me through it. There is no air of “everything fixed”. Not today; not in one day or even a few. But I woke with breath this morning, so He intends for me to grow in it all the more. His love. His sacrifice. His conquering over death. His taking of the wages meant for me. His shield over my vulnerability.
His. I am His.