I couldn't help but feel it. I felt dry. I feel stagnant and stuck, not growing with God but not going backwards either. I'm just dead.
I had been thinking this for weeks trying to pray my way out of it. No signs of life, or so I thought. After a night of rest, I hit the road to Blacksburg as I do sometimes for a day away. The drive is lovely; I have always really enjoyed it. This morning I noticed it was quiet. I hadn't turned the radio on, and as I rounded the corner I noted how lovely the mountains and hills are, even covered with barren trees. How can I still find them beautiful? I thought to myself, as I studied there leafless branches and seemingly black trunks.
In that moment it hit me. They only look dead, they may even feel dead but they are very much alive. A forest filled with life, roots thriving deep below the soils surface.
That's the thing in Christianity we don't often talk about. If you're a new believer, you are growing leaps and bounds, learning and soaking up all that you can. But as you come to walk with Jesus there are times when He doesn't feel far away, but you're not sure He's all that close either. It's a place that feels stagnant, like a tree in the winter. Not dead, but not growing. My heart, like a tree in the winter, is seeking the warmth of the sun. It is dry and in need of fresh rain, waiting for the season to change. The wait is when vulnerability is at its peak. Like winter trees, I am susceptible to freezing rain and snow. And just as snow packs onto branches, the weight of the enemy's lies become heavy enough to break you.
'God doesn't hear you, he doesn't love you... you are a wanderer, you don't even know God. you still sin all the time. you aren't living for God, what does that even mean to you.. look at you dead in your sinfulness...' the enemy's voice hisses lies. I am deceived by an enemy who wants me dead.
I am not dead. I am deceived.
Deceit is meant to keep me frozen in fear; blind me from the blessings. Lies are meant to bind me and keep me from thanking my God, who is near. It hopes to keep me from praising the One who even in a season of struggle or stillness has purpose for my life and hope for my future.
"I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong. And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." -Colossians 2:4-7
So here I sit, facing the reality that my heart may be experiencing a bit of a winter storm. But spring isn't far off and I cannot be silent. If I am alive and all I can do is praise Him--knowing He is faithful--I am fulfilling a destiny of being rooted in Jesus and trusting God.
I am alive.//