thoughts from a sick day

Posted in faith

I write this post from my couch.

Where I’ve been sitting for the past 8 hours.

Surrounded by books, pillows and blankets, a tea mug, a water glass, and tissues.

Yes, I have a cold, with a fever attached.

Although seriously bummed I couldn’t go about my normal day, for it was full with a need for productivity and a fun meeting over God’s Word, Holy Spirit has been teaching.

First, I struggle with sitting still. I’m fidgety, restless, and almost always multi-tasking.

“We often use outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises.” Henri Nouwen

In the quiet is where I experience His presence, because He doesn’t shout over the television. On a day like today, stillness is where I encounter Him. Reading His words, I am refreshed, and challenged.

Second, a friendship with Jesus means honesty with Him.

This is a lesson I learned earlier this year.

“God insists on artless transparency to enable Him to mold me into a woman of grace and beauty, a woman who listens and hears and knows Him down deep… When I confess my flaws, my guilt, my failures, my frustrations, to God, He takes the softest washcloth to my mess and bathes me in beauty. I lean into His warmth, breathing in the scent of Him, wanting more.” Diane Comer

It took multiple circumstances, and Holy Spirit’s gentle convicting, to help me see that I’m not honest with God. It’s a funny idea, though, since He knows my thoughts long before I think them. I held things in own strength, pretending for appearances, weighed down by legalistic guilt and fighting spiritual battles on the grounds of deeds. 

But in this habit, I missed a profound part of my relationship with God — His goodness, and the Gospel, that covers every past mistake and every future deliberate sin.

Third, I occupy myself with lesser things, even though deep down, I know exactly what (or Who) I need.

I got up around 6am and eased my way to the couch. Talked to God a bit, then J joined me and the “you have a fever, text your coworkers, take some medicine, stay hydrated” unraveled.

It took me until 3pm to find quiet again. I was uncomfortable and wanted a distraction. I started movies and didn’t finish them. I watched a few episodes of a couple different shows I enjoy. I read a little.

In the back of my mind I’m thinking, this is the perfect time for some one-on-one with Father… but I ignored it.

Why? The other things were easier, and they seemed more entertaining, while really containing no real substance. I forget that time spent meditating on Father God, no matter what it looks like, is always the best use of time.

For most of the day, I settled for obliging to my lesser appetites.

But, reading His words, being quiet and letting my mind roam, was far more refreshing and helpful, better for my soul, than anything else all day. 

This statement from John Piper I heard the other day continues to ring loud:

The greatness of God’s majesty is not magnified in hollow efforts to keep commandments. Every religion does that. That doesn’t make God look great. It makes you look moral. Rather, the greatness of God’s majesty is exalted when you are satisfied in him more than anything, especially when you’re suffering. My point here is you’ll never feel this, you will never devote your life to magnifying God by being satisfied in God, until you see that the ultimate essence of evil is the failure to be satisfied in God. John Piper

So. All of this to say, it’s easy to believe the lie that anything but God will satisfy what I’m craving, whether that craving is hunger, excitement, comfort, confidence, etc.

The battle is in my heart, deeeeeep down there, and I pray His Spirit continues to capture my heart with an insatiable desire for Him.

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