I’m going through a weird season right now. An empty season. A season with more anxiety than peace, more restlessness than rest. A season that feels more like hopelessness than hopeful, more despair than delight, more illness than health.
For the last several days, I’ve been fighting back with God’s power. I’m praying to be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, to feel the living waters bubbling up inside me. I’m praying (begging) for release from tormenting thoughts, from anxiety, from thoughts of shame and unworthiness.
I’ve prayed with friends and been prayed over by friends. I’ve prayed in the church, at home, and in the car. I went forward to the prayer leaders at church. Twice. On the same day.
And I feel nothing.
Wait! That wasn’t what you expected to hear?!
Or maybe you’re like, ummm I’ve felt that, too, but didn’t want anyone to know there was something wrong with me.
My anxiety hasn’t fled. I’m not feeling peace and rest. And I full well know God is with me but I don’t feel Him filling me and bubbling out from me the way I’m praying for.
And I’ve thought – What is wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? Is God ignoring me? Does God want me to prove something first?
I chose to write this blog while in the midst of it. Not after it’s lifted. Not after I’ve triumphed, but right now in the middle of the yuck.
Because you’ve probably been there, too. Maybe, you’re there now. So, here we are, friend. Feeling alone and empty despite seeking God. We are knocking but the door doesn’t seem to be opening. We are seeking but it seems nothing is to be found. We are asking but seemingly not receiving.
The keywords in that last paragraph are “seem, seems, and seemingly.”
When we feel like this, when we feel empty and as if God is not listening, we HAVE to remember what God says and that God is not a liar. That God keeps His word, His promises – whether we FEEL it or not.
“The Lord is faithful to ALL His promises and loving toward ALL He has made”Psalm 145:13
Feelings cannot be trusted. Feelings are the liars. Feelings can trick us, misguide us, and deceive us.
Also, feelings never last. Never. They eventually go, eventually change, eventually leave.
So if feelings are liars and feelings never last, then we cannot live by our feelings. We cannot believe them, follow them, wallow in them, nor allow them to rule us.
We have to trust God and His words and His promises. God never lies. He never deceives. He is 100% trustworthy. He’s proved this time and again throughout the Bible, throughout history, and even throughout my own life. I’ve seen it, lived it, and experienced it.
These two things cannot change. God cannot lie when he makes a promise, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath.Hebrews 6:18
So while I am feeling hopelessness, despair, anxiety, unrest, exhaustion, and illness – I can still SPEAK words of truth. I can still TELL GOD that I trust Him and love Him. I can worship God, pray, and listen to what He has to say… even if all the while I feel empty doing it.
I can tell God “I trust You” when I’m feeling worried, anxious, and confused. When I don’t actually feel like I’m living a life of trust. I can still tell Him. And I mean it.
I can tell God “I love You” even when I’m feeling empty and devoid of love. When I feel unloved myself. When I feel like there isn’t much love in me. I can still choose to tell God I love Him.
I can pray and continue to knock, see, and ask – even when I feel like there is no oomph to my prayers. When my prayers feel weak and I wonder if it’s just words and whether it means anything… I can choose to pray anyway.
I can sing and worship God – even if I’m not feeling the Holy Spirit move, if it feels more like words to any ol’ song rather words and attitude of worship. I can do it anyway.
And what does this do? Why would/should I do these things when I’m not feeling it?
Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”John 20:29
3. By doing these things, I prove to the enemy that he can’t win. That God is stronger than His attacks and that I will not be fooled by feelings. I belong to God. I am His child, regardless of how I feel in the moment. Or season.
The Father has loved us so much! This shows how much he loved us: We are called children of God. And we really are his children.1 John 3:1
4. By doing these things, I grow. I grow in my walk with Jesus. I imagine that I actually grow quite a lot. To set my feelings aside and trust that God is who He says He is, no matter my feelings and circumstances can only make me grow in my walk with God.
What are some of the promises I can hold onto?
Despite my feelings, God will NEVER leave me. He is ALWAYS with me.
God WILL answer, He WILL deliver, He will open all of the right doors!
No matter how we are feeling, or how long it takes, we can trust that God WILL answer. We will receive. I know these verses are so similar and one follows the other but hear this… Continue to ask, continue to seek, and continue to knock. Continue and know that God promises He will answer.
Even as I finish writing this, I’m empty friends. I’m worse than empty, but I will say this. I love God. I know He is with me. And I know this will not last. In my weakness, He is strong. So despite my pitiful attempts at prayer and worship right now, I will continue to ask, seek, and knock. And He will answer.
(Happy?) Thursday, friends.