March 8, 2012

When We Feel Un-Loved By The Lord

Why don't I just come out with it...

I'm just in this season where I don't feel loved by the Lord.

There it is. It was hard for me to swallow when it came out in one of those tear-driven prayer sessions where you're feeling so... raw... so... vulnerable... before the Lord. There's a sweetness that comes in those moments... as well as a bitterness.

I'm well aware in my mind that God loves me. That's not the problem. I need look no further than the cross at Calvary for my proof. But I just don't feel loved. The problem lies in getting my heart to trust, believe, and truly know Christ's love for me. Which is not easy. At all.

I don't have all the answers to "fix" this. I don't know how to necessarily get all the head stuff down to my heart in such a way that it will stick or make sense. One thing I can cling to though is I know God is faithful. He is hesed. (Remember? My favorite Hebrew word?) He is the essence of steadfast love.

Over and over again in the Psalms (and throughout the Bible) we see David recounting God's steadfast love. I love David for this, because I think he's trying to make a point that when we feel far from God or unloved or... whatever it is you're struggling with in your relationship with Him... remembering all the ways that God has been faithful to us in our past should motivate us to keep persevering, to keep fighting, and to keep hoping whatever the trial or season we find ourselves in. (And David knew a thing or two about trials.) David preaches this to himself:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. -Psalm 103:2-5
I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. -Isaiah 63:7
Yes, I find myself in a season of feeling unloved by God, but I will recall all that He's done in my life and hold fast to the promises He's made in His Word. By no means does it feel good, in fact most days it's painful, but for reasons that I do not understand fully now, this is bringing about the kind of worship He is seeking from me at this specific time. 
There are times when worship overflows easily and effortlessly from a heart full of gratitude and praise. Yet, there are other times when we feel we have nothing left to offer up. We are tired, or thirsty, or imprisoned in our own chains through our own devices, or caught in the waves of a tumultuous sea. This is when God wraps His eternally powerful, ultimately creative, nail-scarred hands around our hearts and squeezes with appropriate might. Our hearts painfully twist and change shape as He wrings the worship out of it. It is a deep worship. It is an honest worship. It is the worship we sometimes forget. The humble worship of crying out to God in the midst of our pain. No flowery words. No shiny faces. Not in that moment. That will come later. But for now, this is the worship He seeks - an honest plea for Him to save us. -Lauren Chandler

4 comments :

  1. In these desert times it's hard to sit with the dual realities -- God does love us/you AND you're not feeling it right now. But that's the challenge: hold both. And keep sharing how you are really doing so that others can help carry your faith :)! Amy

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  2. Oh girl thank you so much for just being honest and open and truly sharing your heart.
    God is faithful and He will bless you in this season even. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me!
    Hugs and prayers!
    Katy

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  3. this hurts so bad... funny how our own heart and emotions can hurt us sometimes isnt it? thats why we can never trust even our own hearts...even His word says that they are deceitful. Lord, in the name of Jesus, let Natalie know the TRUTH of your word and your unfailing love and that NOTHING, not even this season in her life can ever separate her from your love!

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