It is a Friday afternoon. I’ve got a long list of things that are awaiting my attention. Pants to return. Checks to mail. Two chapters to read. A paper topic to choose. And a desk to organize, before I can do any of the other. But I can’t seem to organize my desk, because facing the strewn papers, ignored notifications, empty boxes, and endless sticky notes means facing my own inadequacies and weaknesses—the disorganization of my desk that represents the disorganization of my soul.
So I’m curled up in a blanket on the couch and I just finished reading a chapter of a book I chose to read for fun… for me. Because it was a tough morning. One of those mornings that leaves you wanting to cry in the car and sleep on a couch. So I did.
And that’s counter culture (especially counter “Christian culture”). We seem to think that we have to go – go – go and give – give – give to be the ultimate student, friend, or Christian. Yet that just leaves me exhausted and worn out and tired of people. I’m realizing the importance of “me time.” It seems selfish, and once again, it means facing my own weaknesses… or what I identify as weakness.
I like blue, sunny skies. With just a few soft, cotton-like clouds. And clear, crisp air.
Yet lately it’s been a fog. A fog that hits me when I walk outside and breathe in the thick humidity. Or a fog that clouds the horizon as rain tumbles down from above, as it has been the past seven days. I like rain, but only when clear skies follow.
I suppose the weather represents my life quite well right now. Just like I am not a fan of dark days outside, darkness and confusion in my own life terrifies me. And I’m beginning to think that like the rain that is beginning to seem endless, the mental and spiritual fog is less of a season and more of a lifestyle. Perhaps it is just life.
Maybe the answer isn’t in trying so hard to find the light but in being willing to face the fog and remember Christ stands here too. To remember… that he is sufficient in the light and in the darkness, in the pain and in the joy, in the morning as well as the night.” ~ Simply Tuesday*
I’ve been angry a lot lately. Angry at professors. Angry at the school administration. Angry with people who have hurt the people I love. I’ve been angry at the injustice in the world around me. Angry at the violence I see on the news. Angry at the spiritual darkness in the world. Angry at leaders’ lack of response or action. I’ve been angry with myself. Angry at the disconnect I feel. Angry at my lack of energy. Angry at my inability to overachieve anymore.
And as a result, I end up angry with God, pounding my fist at the sky, wondering why I don’t see or feel Him like I used to. That’s when the fog sets in.
Maybe the answer is to agree… that Jesus looks nothing like I think he should look, speaks nothing like I thought he would speak, allows things I don’t think he should allow.”
A lot of times Jesus doesn’t feel like enough.
He doesn’t feel like enough when the exam scores aren’t high enough.
When the to-do list is too long and my energy level is too low to accomplish enough.
When my abilities don’t feel like they measure up enough.
When my friendships don’t seem deep enough.
When I don’t have time or resources to give enough.
I need to confess my fear in confessing that and face my longing for more. I need to remember Jesus is enough even when he doesn’t feel like enough. I need to tell him so, to question him, and to be willing to receive his answers of love, of hope, and with-ness that sometimes don’t feel like answers at all.” ~ Simply Tuesday
You may very well be asking the same question I’m asking myself right now. I’ve got a mumble-jumble of thoughts but no real clear direction. So where am I headed with all this?
Well, I don’t have answers. (That seems to be a common theme lately…)
But I do have a Jesus.
Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Here’s what I do know. He meets me right where I am. In the fog.
He says… I’ve been there.
I’ve been exhausted and worn to the point where I feel like I can’t give anymore.
I’ve been angry at the hate and injustice and confusion I see in the world.
I’ve been brought to the point of tears.
But I am here for you.
Embrace your weaknesses. I am sufficient.
Take time for yourself. I’ll make up the difference. (Oh, and I created you to enjoy this life. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.)
Your anger is not without reason. But you can trust me.
Come, meet me in the fog.
So I am choosing to turn right where I am, face the fog, and meet Jesus in that place. Will you join me?
*quotes from Simply Tuesday by: Emily P. Freeman