Are you ever afraid to be in God’s presence? Afraid that if you are you will fall apart. I had a coffee cup once that had cracks all in it but I could still use it. Then the handle broke off and I glued it back on so I could continue using the cup. But, I always knew it was only a matter of time before the cup would fall apart to the point that I couldn’t fix it or use it, and I would finally have to throw it away. But the cup itself is not as important as what is inside. Currently, I am like this cracked cup with a mended handle. I’m broken and empty but still functional in my own strength. I guess that’s why I’m afraid to be in God’s presence; because I know when I am I will fall to pieces and not be able to fix myself.
As a mom, missionary, and pastor’s wife, I have to be strong. I can’t break completely. I have to do everything in my power to keep it together. I have to appear on the outside that I am full of joy on the inside. I can’t show or say how I’m struggling. Everyone knows the unspoken 11th commandment for people in ministry is: Thou shalt NEVER let people know you are not ok. But today, I have been given a freedom in God’s word to boast in my weakness. I am not ok, and I’ve been running around without coffee in my cup for way too long. I can’t seem to even find a small stain of the joy that use to fill the cup. I missed the signs. I dismissed it as if it was just a phase. I convinced myself it was normal. I had disillusioned myself to think that the emptiness in the cup I was drinking was actually joy and this is just as good as it gets. I had completely forgotten what coffee even tasted like because I had not had it in so long. I forgot how good it was and how much I need it every morning to keep going. I would repeat to myself the truth that joy comes in the morning. I rarely missed a day without being with the Lord so I tried to convince myself that the joy was still there. It must be. It had to be. I refused to believe it wasn’t.
So this is where I am. I’m still the broken, empty, but functional cup. Fighting in my own strength not to fall to pieces. I know I am going to fall eventually, and I think God wants me to. But He has allowed me to continue functioning until I have a safe place to fall and time for Him to begin healing me. That time has not come yet, but I know it is soon, and I now have the courage to let it happen. Until then I’m afraid. I’m afraid to be in God’s presence or with the people who love me because I’m fragile. So I pull away with my private thoughts and questions. Who am I? What’s wrong with me? When will this end? Where am I headed? Why am I feeling this way? How did I get here? Feelings of guilt for even feeling this way when some many other people have it so much worse than me.
I know without a doubt many of you know exactly what I am talking about. I’ve heard from some people that this is the result of “lost faith” in God. I don’t believe this to be true. Did King David have lost faith when he asked, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” Did Job have lost faith when he asked, “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” Did Elijah have lost faith when he cried out “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life.” Did Jonah have lost faith when he said, “O, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Absolutely not! Faith cannot be lost. These were all men of great faith. Who did they cry out to from their painful pit? They cried out to God. Why? Because they STILL HAD FAITH IN HIM. They had FAITH that He would hear them. They had FAITH that He would help them. They had FAITH that He cared about them.
So I’m going to be like these men of faith and cry out to God because I have faith that: He loves me, He is grieving with me, He gives me rest, He carries me, He sustains me, He strengthens me, He intercedes for me, He hears me, and He heals me. I will stand on these promises given to me in God’s Word and I am going to take the time for God to heal me so I can feel His fullness in my life once again. It will be painful, messy, and scary; but I know God will bring me out with my cup overflowing.