I don’t believe God makes your life hell to bring you back to him. I think life goes to absolute shit the farther away you wander from him, especially if you’re like me. I’ve come to expect a certain level of divine strength and comfort that allows me to get through levels of shit they write Lifetime movies about. Trust me, I have those moments, but God gets me through. He cares for me and I love him and when we are functioning in that symbiotic relationship of God and believer, things are brilliant. I don’t believe in God just because he’ll take care of me. He isn’t my insurance policy of choice (I mean, he is, but you get the sentiment). I think he is right and true, but I’m going to be honest with you too. He takes care of his own. The benefits aren’t bad, y’all.
Yet, when I’m pulling away from God, trying to find that strength within myself or in someone/something else, life hurts. Little things hurt worse than the big things. I feel like the world is caving in on me because strength from anywhere except God is weakness and comfort from anywhere but him is pain. His love, which I do believe can shine through others, makes life bearable and worth living.
I was lucky enough in this past week to be reminded of that, so like in all times, I’d like to pray.
1. God, you are astounding and evident. I see you every morning on my way to work and on my way home. Your glory shines through your creation and it’s amazing.
2. God, your love is never ending. I give you a lot of crap, crap that any mere mortal would not take. You are the Lord Almighty and your love is an eternal flame that will never go out. That baffles me. I’m in awe of it.
3. God, you care, which should be magnified more than it is. Other religions proclaim gods in which believers have to do something for faith, but you are the one true God. You are active in our lives. You came down and saved us because you knew there was nothing we could do to save ourselves.
4. I don’t read my Bible as often as I should. I let Bible reading and Bible Study slip to the side, when it’s the one thing I should be doing everyday with great joy and gusto.
5. I am not the shining example of your love and truth in this world. I fall easily into sin and then make an ass of your name. I could do better to show others your love.
6. Thank you for sending Jesus to save me from my sins. Thank you for pulling me out of the muck and the mire, for cleaning me off, and for giving me the wholly undeserved title of your child. Thank you so much.
7. Thank you for giving me an astounding family. Not everyone is blessed with the family relationships I have. Thank you so much because a part from your love, I’ve never felt such love. It’s astounding, and when I pinpoint instances in which my family has just readily and willingly given and loved me even though I’m not entirely worth that much effort, I get super weepy and emotional because you have blessed me deeply.
8. Thank you for allowing my relationships with my friends to improve. I haven’t felt this connected to my friends since college when we all basically lived within a block of each other, or, better, in the same suite. This year has been a blessing through the letters, the texts, the phone calls, the Skype calls, and the visits. Thank you for giving me people in my life who get me and appreciate me.
9. Help me reciprocate the love and friendship and kinship shown to me. Help me keep growing and becoming a better person. Allow me the inner ability to treat my family and friends with the level of love and appreciation they deserve. Help me be a better daughter, sister, aunt, niece, granddaughter, best friend, friend, and acquaintance.
10. Soften my heart. Erase the negative emotions that plague my mind and vocabulary. Help me emulate your love and compassion, allowing me to be a city on a hill that glorifies your name.