Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brickwall Hope

My eyes welled up with tears, my heart beat like never before, and my mind raced through so much that I found myself overwhelmed, sitting in my truck at a condo development staring at a brick wall as far way from any sense of civilization I knew of. It was my own way of getting away; it was my way of finding what I needed, rest. I don’t mean rest, like sleeping in, I’m talking about rest where you become aware of yourself and the moment you are in and you can breathe and think clearly. This is the rest I desperately found in what seemed, at the moment, the summit of insanity for me. How did I get here?

When I started following Jesus my entire life changed. My desires, my dreams, my thoughts, everything changed. Shortly after trying to follow Jesus I was given the opportunity to move to Indianapolis to start a church community in downtown. 18 months into that I felt God pulling me in a different direction, as I learned more and grew into my own identity in my faith. I met my girlfriend, my best friend, there and now I find myself looking for a church community for us to be involved in together now that we are headed down the path of becoming one. Now I am trying to go through life, for the first time, as a unit, a team, considering someone else before myself. So I’m sitting at work thinking about all these changes and how I fail to deal with change very well and I am beginning to get overwhelmed. Then it seems as if the walls of my cubicle begin to close in and everything around me becomes much larger than I can manage. No longer do I hear background noise while I try to focus in on a specific task, I hear everything. I hear everything loudly, specifically, all at once. My heart begins to beat out of my chest and I cannot focus. My vision became blurry due to the anxiety that quickly filled my body. I typically go to the gym on lunch, but this day I decided I better just chill and go grab lunch by myself. Even being in traffic furthered my anxiety, so I knew sitting in a restaurant wouldn’t be good. I grabbed some quick food from a drive-thru and parked in a parking lot, even seeing the traffic in the parking lot and road beside it made me nervous. I perused my surroundings to find tranquility and there I found an undeveloped condo association with a drive that dead ended into a brick wall. I had found my place, at last!

I just sit there….in complete silence for a couple minutes and the tears begin to come down my face. What is happening to me, am I crazy, which makes my even more upset. Out of desperation I just say something very quietly and simple. “God, I don’t deserve you to listen to me, but if you hear me, please be here, I need you.” I just sat in silence as I ate my food until I decided to open my bible and read the Proverb of the day, that’s something I do, read the Proverb that corresponds with the calendar day. I opened to Proverbs 15 and dug in, asking God to just make me feel ok. The words seemed to stand out on the page like screaming neon colors. “…he loves those who pursue righteousness…he hears the prayer of the righteous.” “Am I righteous,” I thought to myself. I was then reminded of Romans (3:22). “Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” My eyes dried up and my heart began to slow down, I could feel the pounding beats shaking my chest and time felt like it stood still as I realized and heard something I needed, needed right then, right there. This wasn’t some great big though, some great ideal I could write a book about or impress theological scholars with, it was simply what I needed, an answer to my prayer.

I have faith in Christ, therefore I am righteous. Based on the proverb, God hears the prayers of the righteous, even if I don’t think or feel like he does. I try, I want to be a living person, an abundantly living person, and I truly try my best to live a redeemed life, yea, I seek righteousness! Based on the proverb, God loves those who pursue righteousness, even if they fail often, the pursuit is what he loves! God loves me and hears my prayers, even if I feel far and isolated from Him, even if I can’t feel His love or hear Him talking back, He loves me and listens. That is something I need to remind myself of every day.

I wonder how many people go through what I did daily, weekly, monthly…I wonder if the answer may not be in deep theological studies or principles grounded in extensive disciplines, but in the simple moments where God shows up in a big way for that individual. There is hope, may you feel it, may you know that God loves those who pursue righteousness, pursuit looks like a person who is at least trying, not perfect or even good at it, but trying at some capacity, may you know God hears you, hears the prayers of the righteous, and if you have faith in Christ, you are righteous, no matter how dirty, how unworthy, how guilty, or how unrighteous you feel, that faith makes you righteous and God hears you!

1 comment:

  1. I think a ton of people get to this point. Sadly, most never reach the solution that you did at that moment.