I See the Light!

Last night during our devotion time, I received an answer for which I've been searching a long time.  Despite my attempts and desire to spend more time with the Lord, to delve deeper into His Word, to serve Him with greater obedience and to love Him more than ever, I felt a wedge growing between us.  Each day, I felt further from Him than the day before.  My prayers seemed to go unheard.  My pleas for closeness appeared to be ignored.  And my attempts to draw closer to Him seemed to be in vain.  No matter what I did or how hard I prayed, I felt like I was drifting away, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why.

I began to doubt my love.  I even began to doubt my salvation.  After all God has seen me through, after all He's done for me, why did it seem like the more I got to know Him, the further apart we seemed?  I couldn't fathom what was going on, but I was certain I had to be doing something wrong.  I had no peace. That is, until last night.

Jason and I are currently making our way through "My Utmost for His Highest," and I have to admit that the lessons, while short, are jam-packed with meat and meaning that often takes us an hour or more of discussion to digest.  Last night's offering, though, needed no digesting.  I finally understood.  Things finally made sense.  At last, the puzzle pieces began to fall into place, and I saw my valley for what it truly was--a stepping stone.

The devotion was entitled, "The Discipline of Dismay," and it answered so many questions.  Allow me to quote a little to help you understand.

At the beginning of our life with Jesus Christ, we were sure we knew all there was to know about following Him… But now we're not quite so sure. Jesus is far ahead of us and is beginning to seem different and unfamiliar… He no longer seems to be my Counselor and Friend and has a point of view about which I know nothing... I begin to realize that there is a distance between Jesus and me and I can no longer be intimate with Him. I have no idea where he is going, and the goal has become strangely distant… The discipline of dismay is an essential lesson which a disciple must learn. The danger is that we tend to look back on our times of obedience and on our past sacrifices to God in an effort to keep our enthusiasm for Him strong. But when the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come the ability to follow Jesus truly, which brings inexpressibly wonderful joy. - My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Jesus never moved, and in fact, neither did I.  What happened was that the more I discovered who God truly is, the more I realized how unworthy I am.  That was the wedge.  In this particular case, it wasn't sin or anything negative.  It was my dismay at realizing how far I am from being all that God wants me to be.  My valley is a serious case of growing pains, which are a painful, yet necessary, part of life.  And by enduring until the end, I will gain a relationship with Jesus like I've never experience before.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us the answers we seek at the perfect time for us to accept and understand them.  Please give me strength to continue through the valley, knowing that the reward will be worth it!