Friday, September 23, 2011

He Never Leaves

Last Sunday at church, we had a guest speaker who talked about coming back to your First Love.

Not until I was digesting the sermon afterward did I realize how much I needed to hear those words. I was then further inspired to write this piece about the striking difference between living life when God is at our centre versus living life having drifted away. I am and will be eternally grateful for having a God Who never actually leaves.


I was sitting on a couch in a huge, white room. It was bright and light. It was really nice. I could always hear soft music playing, and no matter what it was, it restored my soul.

As I reclined on big red couch, my feet resting on an ottoman, circumstances walked into the large, roomy room and played themselves out. They usually did some kind of dance. Sometimes I felt a little elbow nudge from my spirit, and then I knew that a certain circumstance should not be permitted—so I would ask him or her to leave. Other circumstances I allowed to waltz in, and if my spirit poured a pitcher of peace over me, I knew the circumstance was all right, and that there was no need for me to worry. I therefore let the circumstances do their dances: some wore caps with feathers, some wore beautiful flouncy dresses and waved silk wraps around as they waltzed, and some that may have seemed a little dark or unwelcome at first ended up brightening up by the end. In fact, sometimes one circumstance (often a pretty lady) would pair up with another (a handsome gentleman) and they would end up in the most striking, unexpected dance routine—one I could never have imagined in the most perfect world—and the ending blessed me in some way: I was given by the circumstance a gift of peace, joy, provision, life, abundance, mercy, joy or opportunity.

Artist: Sera Knight
Sometimes my spirit would prod me to also give something to the circumstance. Sometimes I would give them a gift of my own. Sometimes I would suggest that he or she dance a little differently. I would then get up and dance along with them in complete alignment with their choreography. I was always happy to do so; happy to be living and happy to be giving my spirit so much control.

This was my life for some time. I accepted certain circumstances as God’s almighty intention for me, and I acted on nudgings by the Spirit to influence and change other circumstances, however God had purposed or planned, and God absolutely permeated that white room—which was why it was so incredibly white—a warm, glowing white. It couldn’t be anything else; white was the only colour pure enough.

For some reason, one day, a circumstance that I didn’t like at all came in. I resisted it. I didn’t want it to dance for me. I may have felt a still, small voice telling me that it was OK, but I was so unhappy with the attitude--the colour--of the circumstance that I let my emotions run rampant. I grabbed a cord hanging from the ceiling and pulled a dark screen down to block out that circumstance. The circumstance continued to dance, and its wild arms and legs often knocked against the screen. This frustrated me even further, and so I spent the rest of the day with my arms crossed and a cross expression on my face.

A similar situation happened the next day—another circumstance came waltzing in. This time, it was a beautiful, talented dancer who seemed to have the perfect combination of moves. However, I felt deep inside that something was not right with the dance—something needed to be adjusted. I did not feel any peace run over my head and down my back. I should have done something, but I didn’t. I should have acted, but I didn’t. I instead ignored that feeling because I wanted to be mesmerized by the dancer. I let the dancer continue, and as she did, as I remained entranced by the dance, I didn’t notice that my hand had found its way to the pull cord hanging from the ceiling, and I began to pull, which brought down another screen. Now I had two screens, blocking two of four sides, and the spacious white room was starting to feel a little small.

I woke up the next morning feeling unhappy. I couldn’t really blame any circumstance, for life is always full of its ups and downs. I was still in that glorious white room, but it felt a little colder where I was. I was still in that glorious white room, but I didn’t feel as fulfilled as I should have felt just by being there.

Did I ask God about it? Did I tell Him about how I was feeling?

No. I just moped and wallowed in this feeling of dissatisfaction. To be honest, as soon as those screens appeared, I seemed to think a little less about God.

Two more circumstances came in that day, and both warranted a pull of the cord—my decision of course, not influenced by Anyone else. Now I was fully surrounded by screens. I was screened in. Although the screens were extremely thin, they still did the job of blocking out any advice or insight from God. Moreover, I thought less and less about God anyway, because I just couldn’t feel His presence the same way.

The only things the screens couldn’t block out were the actual circumstances themselves. They kept barraging the screens so that day after day, hour after hour, I would hear the circumstances, I would feel the circumstances, and I would see the circumstances’ arms and legs making arm- and leg-shaped indentations in the screens. The circumstances, even the beautiful ones, all seemed terrible to me from my perspective.

Before I had time to realize just what had happened, or just how much time had passed, I was thoroughly discontented. Nothing was happening the way it should. Circumstances that should have been denied at the door were let in anyway. My spirit lost control. It was rudely pushed to the back of my existence by my soul, who just didn’t have the patience or the self-control or the insight to make the right decisions. I was stuck in my screened-in, darkened little space, within the expanse of the white room and all of God’s presence, and I had no one to blame but myself. I continued to wallow and feel terrible. Even when good circumstances came in, and even when my friends came to visit me, I still felt depressed.

When I reached the point of quiet desperation, I thought that God must be miles away. Yes, I know that God has said, “I will never leave your nor forsake you,” but a little flicker of doubt flashed in my mind, and I wondered if He had actually gone away this time. I sure felt alone, and nothing was going right, and as much as I tried to do things my way, in my own timing, I was only getting more and more frustrated.

So I broke down. Down on my knees I went. The tears started to flow and I said, “God, I want you here.” I felt terrible for having tried to do things on my own when I knew by experience that God’s advice was always stellar. He always knew what the right decision was, given the fact that He always knew exactly what was going to happen next.

Before I knew it, there it was: that sharp tingling behind my ears, the quickened beat of my heart, the warmth of emotion pairing up with the re-emergence of my spirit to the forefront, the feeling that I’ve finally come home. The feeling of home.

In worship and surrender, I gave it all up to God, for the seemingly hundredth time in my life, and with that release, the screens were lifted, and I felt the light presence of God dripping down all the walls, running across the floor and thickening the air with an invigorating, misty, minty vapour. 

I was shocked to see the walls disappear. I had felt miles and miles away from any notion of God, yet there He had always loyally remained, a giant presence, just on the other side of a paper-thin set of screens that I had put into place myself. I imagined looking into the room from above, peering down and seeing a pathetic girl hovering within four screens, feeling away and alone, while she was actually still in the huge, glowing warm-white room with the same presence of God and the same love permeating the atmosphere in the room.

To me, at that moment, I wondered how I could have ever thought I was far away from God, when He was right there the whole time, waiting for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment