Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I lift my eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from?

I lift my eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from?

Usually those words are followed by this: My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - He who watches over you will not slumber; Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you The LORD is your shade at your right hand; The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; The LORD will watch over your coming and going Both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121

Sounds amazing, doesn't it? Just what I want, really! But these days my question isn't answered so soundly. For me I am looking around and asking, "where does my help come from?" I would love to answer it as did the Psalmist. But I just can't. I ask my questions and I don't feel like I hear an answer. I make my requests, good ones, and they too go unanswered. These days it kind of feels like I'm on my own, and left to do the best I can do.

Mostly these prayers are in reference to my family, for peace, or rest, or just to experience God in some sort of way! Or for him to just deal with me and my heart. I'll tell you, 3 a.m. prayers are pretty raw, and you can do a fair amount of looking for help. But I don't know where my help comes from.

I've actually gotten mad at God, and I decided I wasn't going to talk to him or ask him for anything else, since I kind of felt like I was on my own anyway. But I keep finding myself praying and talking to him before I can stop myself, and when I realize what I'm doing I'm just left in a fuzzy quandry.

I ABSOLUTELY believe in God. I absolutely believe he's good, and knows all things and controls all things. In a very active way. And I believe in Jesus. I believe he is who he says he is, and that he did what he says he did. But I also want him to draw close to me and interact with me, which I do NOT believe he is doing. Perhaps one day he will again. But not these days.

So I have a lot of dissonance in my heart. Because really I love him. I fear him a bit. Or maybe I fear him really, and love him a bit. But I'm also mad at him and want to pout and give him the silent treatment. To see if he notices? Maybe with the challenge for him to prove to me who he really is. Because perhaps therein lies some of my confusion.

IS he the only way to heaven? ARE we really just supposed to do the best we can and see how things end up? Is my family anything special to him at all, and does he really hold onto us so we can't slip away? I feel like I don't know the things I used to know.

I know I'll probably be referred to go back and read my Bible more diligently, or seek more fervently. But why is it up to me to do in order to experince Him? And when I'm at my end, isn't that when his strength is made greatest? (Sigh--does that mean I have more to drain out of me before He'll answer me?)

My Nanny died last Thursday, January 20, my anniversary. (It's just coincidental that it happened to be my anniversary.) So what happened to her? My training and my belief tells me she knew Jesus so she went to heaven. I know what she believed! But is it so appealing to go to heaven and worship before someone we hardly knew here on earth? What is really true, here?

And yet, as if sending me a directive from beyond the grave, she compelled the Hospice chaplain to share Philippians 2:12-18 at her funeral--specifically poignant was 12-13--Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

So... so I guess I still feel like pouting. And I do not have any clever conclusion to draw at the end of this post. I cannot shake what I believe, even when I'm not sure of it. And I guess I will carry on. But I do feel like I'm at the end of my strength, and I hope this doesn't make God angry, but for now I'm leaving it up to Him, and to the church to function like he's called it to. Grace means that forgiveness isn't due to what we can muster, and if what I have believed my whole life is true, then he won't let me slip through his fingers. This probably isn't what testing is supposed to look like, but I hope he keeps holding onto me when I can't hold onto him any longer.

1 comment:

  1. When I was growing up and I would question my religion or faith my Grandma would always say "We are taught not to question the Lord or the church or the Bible." And she was firm about it. So I never questioned it in front of her. But I know I believe in God and in Heaven and Hell but if I don't question it how am I suppose to learn? We all question it and I believe that's okay. We have to learn and forget and re-learn. I love the honesty in this post Elizabeth! It seems like when you are this honest a lot of Christians are turned off and judge you based on it...which I think says a lot about their faith and character. They are scared when people question God and they don't know how to react to it. It's good to know someone feels the same things I do and isn't afraid to say them.