Gosh, it can feel so sad to have everything go right on the outside and still feel out of alignment on the inside…to feel like God’s showing up, blessing you, orchestrating this epic plan for your life, one that hits all of the desires of your heart, and yet you still feel disconnected from thankfulness, from faith, from God…it can feel like there’s something wrong with you, like you’re broken, or like you’re never going to figure this out…and that’s such a frustrating thing to feel like there’s this chance in front of you to really get this deep desire of your heart stoked and to ignite the passion of your faith again, and yet here you are, feeling like everything’s going right, like all the chips are stacked in your corner, and you still can’t figure it out…gosh that’s gotta feel so frustrating…so invalidating, so difficult…
I think the best news about what you’re facing is that…I actually don’t think there’s anything wrong with you man…I think that there’s a couple lies that you’ve swallowed because of pain you’ve faced in your past…something with your church made you believe this lie that “I don’t belong” in faith settings, so you tried to go it by yourself and then when you came across these questions you couldn’t grapple with, you started to feel more distant and confused, and you swallowed the lie that, “I can’t figure this faith thing out” (or something to that effect), and so now you’re facing your faith on top of those lies, and it’s no wonder you feel distant and ungrateful for God…if you don’t belong in His house, and if you can’t figure Him out – how could you feel grateful or connected to Him?
You’ve got to address those lies (whatever phrasing really resonates with you, I just made suggestions / examples above), and embrace the truth – God says you belong. The prodigal son did EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER to NOT belong…in fact, when he came back to the father after wasting his inheritance on prostitutes, alcohol, drugs, and sideways living, his plan was to ask to be his father’s slave because he was starving. But when he returned, what did God do? What did the father do? The father RAN OUT TO his son while he was still a long ways off and embraced him. The son still had mud and pig shit all over him from working in a pig pen, and the father wrapped both arms around him and hugged him as tight as he could. He called to his servants and told them to get the finest robe in the house (to restore his dignity by clothing him again), a jeweled ring for his finger (to restore his status by elevating him), and sandals for his feet (to restore his comfort by protecting him)…in fact, he threw a party for him and slaughtered the fattened calf, something the entire house had been participating in nursing, ensuring that it would be healthy for when the right time would come to celebrate something significant enough to sacrifice this animal they had all tended to. And the father said – having my son home is that time.
Lamentations also says that God’s mercies are new every day…it’s like God’s love for us – though in earthly terms we feel needs time to reset, to recuperate, to become wild and exhilarated again…God’s love refreshes to that same intensity every day. Every day we return to God, his mercies are new, they are fresh, we are favored, we are embraced…we always belong, God is always delighted to embrace us and shower us in favor and love and celebration for being His…just because we are his children.
Think on these truths. Agree with THESE truths. This is who God says you are and how he says he feels about you. Receive it. Break up with those lies and get attached to these truths! You belong. God is not disappointed in you. He’s not waiting for you to figure him out to love you. He already does, and he says come home! I want to celebrate you and delight in you. And regardless of how many times you run away, God will always throw a party for you when you return because his love and mercies for you are fresh every day.