Why does it hurt so much to open my eyes?

You are freeing me, Lord–
gently insisting that I trust You
enough to break this seal of fear
that’s held my heart down
in this paralyzed position for so long.
You’re calling me to open my fear-locked eyes
even when everything in me tells me
that I will die from what I have to see,
what I finally have to acknowledge is real.
I’ve always thought my real was just too wrong
to treat as anything more than a nightmare
You were planning to wake me up from any minute.
But, instead, You’re teaching me to face my life
in the conviction that You are holding both my hand
and my feeble heart.
I don’t want to do it, Lord;
but it’s what You have for me today.
Where do I have to run to
if I can’t be comfortable in Your arms?

How far do I have to go to get beyond myself?

Note to self:
Think beyond yourself and you’ll be okay.

That’s a little too out of your league, right? I mean, you never signed up to be Super-Spiritual Man (or his knock-off, the infamous Super-Spiritual Man-Wannabe). All you want to do is make it through life the best you can. If someone like me can give you some advice that you can tuck into your pocket and find comfort in as you make your way, so much the better, but you won’t be too dependent on the possibility. But what potential for reaching a worthy destination are you assured by merely accumulating the pocket-change variety of spiritual direction and input?

If everything you do and are is spirit, how can you relegate such a small investment to what connects you with God’s Spirit? Truly, the opposite of actively pursuing connection must be consistently avoiding it. Therefore, how can you hope in a pleasant destination for your life if there is yet no link between you and the Pleasant One in whose quarters alone eternal joy resides?

Are my questions feeling a bit harsh? Maybe you’re thinking some of us just weren’t made for that sort of connection. Yet, how could that be? Rather than trying to reason with you about whether we were made for connection with God or not, let me ask you to consider instead how a true relational connection could be workable if one party were to exclude themselves from the union.

Why do I need God?

So, You’ve been teaching me I need You
for several years now, Lord.
But I’ve always thought the reason,
what made that true,
was being caught in a life
that was so difficult it demanded You.

But the truth is actually something wholly separate from
anything my life will ever be:
it is a truth about me that has nothing to do with
what I am living with or
what I am living without,
but has everything to do with
Who I am living because of.

Deeper than any truth I can communicate about myself
is the One breathed over me
every moment of my life:

Why can’t I stand up for what I believe in?

“What am I to do with the people I’ve got around Me, Lord?” I wonder, feeling drained. “I feel like I haven’t been firm enough with them about what I’m interested in hearing from them and what I’m not. I need a boundary here–they can’t be constantly bringing me suggestions that I can’t use. If I wish they wouldn’t give them to me, I should do a little more to make that clear.

“The more clear I get about what You want for me, the more that has to translate into my demeanor in conversation. But, right now, Lord, I’m not doing that. I need so much help from You!”

You have a deep seated fear of arrogance and closing yourself off from people. You’re afraid of making a mistake you can’t undo. But you can’t live in service to that fear. I didn’t die to give you away to that fear. I intended to have you all to Myself.

So this is what you’re going to do: Let Me handle the consequences of you going all out in regard to what I have put on your heart. You don’t have to be apologetic–I do not need to be apologized for. And you’re moving based on what I’ve said, right?

That makes it quite simple. Whatever I’ve laid upon your heart is reliable. It’s from Me–so lean into it. “Sorry, I don’t believe that is something God has for me to pursue right now”–say this when the words of others would lead you in ways you can’t follow.

Yes, some of your listeners won’t live up to their name; their unbelief will shake your confidence in being belief-directed and not research-driven. That is okay. I’ve put you where you are and I’m not trying to find ways to get you out of where you are. You don’t have to move until I say so.