I’ve just really needed a word. To read a word to hear a word, to see a word from God. I just wanted it and needed it. But it didn’t come. I couldn’t hear it. I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t write it, or feel it. I would read the most beautiful writings from people who did have a word, yet I’d be left feeling empty. I was feeling empty because I was empty. You see I was trying to fill up my cup, but I kept dumping it out because it didn’t fill up with what I thought it should. Those words just didn’t taste sweet and they were getting hard to swallow, surely they’re not for me. I’d rather spit them out than drink them in. I was refusing to choke down a word I didn’t want to feel.
God was giving me a word. He was giving me a lot of words. Just not words I thought I needed. I guess I was expecting that my words from God should all be audible and sweet. He’s a good good father right? (He really is)
I remember a friend growing up whose mom always gave her medicine mixed in her applesauce so that it would go down sweet. So she wouldn’t have to swallow that bitter pill. I guess I thought a word from God would be that way too. That a word from God would just be an immediate calm hand placed on my shoulder. A salve on my wounds. A stirring song in my heart. (A word from God is all of these things)
But now I see that God wants us to feel that clear difference between the bitter and the sweet so that we can appreciate his goodness even when life tastes awful. Sometimes we just need to swallow a bitter pill to get our attention that something needs to change. That maybe we are too much us and not enough him. Maybe he’s asking us to make a correction. Maybe he was asking me to make a correction when I didn’t think anything was wrong.
1 My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, 2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. (Proverbs 4:1-2 NLT)
God was giving me so many words, but it was me who was not applying them, yet still expecting to feel a change in my life. The words were all good, but I placed them on other people instead of myself. “That’s a good word for her. That’s a good word for him. That’s a good word for them. That’s a good word for anyone but me.”
So I’d write down the words and in my notebook, they would stay. They’d sit there until I could share them with the person that I thought needed them. Meanwhile, I just kept thirsting for my word. Where is it, God? I’m right here waiting and asking and begging just to hear from you.
So today I opened my notebook and read the words I’d scribbled two months ago.
“It can be easy to get so focused on the darkness around us that we never address the darkness in us.”
This was my word.
This was my word and I didn’t want it to be. Who wants to address darkness in their own life? I don’t. I really really don’t. And that’s why this is my word. And that’s why I need to. God saw my desire to help others in their darkness, but he also saw me shoving mine deeper and deeper down in my heart. He saw the stress, anxiety, worry, doubt, anger, fear, and ugliness closing in on me. He saw it all, gave me a word, and told me to obey.
What is darkness? Anything keeping me from the light right? Darkness doesn’t have to be ugly, and usually, it isn’t. That’s why it’s so easy to hide. But darkness builds and burdens and eventually snuffs out our lights and consumes our lives.
God saw my darkness and wanted me to recognize that life is so much sweeter when lived in the light. In his light.
“For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.” Proverbs 6:23
Now he’s asking me to obey and it’s really really hard because it’s so much easier to clutch my lists and my control over my life to my chest and do everything myself. Because that’s what I know, and that’s been my security for so long. Nothing bad can happen to me if I’m in control. But it’s not working anymore and the darkness is creeping back up and trying to get out.
God says it won’t be easy. So far I’ve learned his commands on our lives never are. In fact, I think the more you say Yes to God, the more he asks of you. So now it’s my word. My word from God is loud and clear and the choice is mine to take it or hand it over to someone it’s not meant for.