There can be a myriad things that can chip away at our relationship with God. When we are exposed to different trials and tribulations, our relationship with Him can also be at stake. It is what I have experienced. Of a truth, there had been seasons in my life (including now) that I had lived in constant war with the things – both internal and external – that tried to rip me away from my otherwise blissful relationship with God.
(image from Google)
Maybe I have been excruciatingly living a harder life than most people (but I’m sure there are others out there that are having it worse) because of the burden brought by my illness and constant suffering. (I’m telling you this so you’ll know where I’m coming from).
I believe the Lord Jesus and I have forged a strong relationship through the years of my suffering. I have known and experienced how to make Him my all in all. That is why it feels more intensely painful when He doesn’t seem to want to deliver me from my suffering. I feel like His hand is heavy upon me while He heaps His favors on others. It seems like He throws His severity my way while He has only blessings for them.
The suffering, the weariness, the stark hardship – these all seem to dry me up and wear away my intimacy with the Savior. I look at other people who always seem to be enjoying life to the full and it would be hard then to dislodge the feelings of envy and jealousy no matter how I earnestly try. There’s also the constant watching and fending off of bitterness that tries to cast a shadow in my heart, defiling me. While others seem to have a perpetual fabulous vacation, I slump on the bed barely whispering, “I’m hurt, Lord.” Hurt, not because my body is, but because life seems unfair.
At this point, you must be thinking I have only grievances to tell. But no. I have the following treasures which I’m delighted to share with you. What must we do when resentments and bitterness, or even estrangement from the Lord, threaten to wreck our relationship with Him? These are what I do:
Persistent in Prayers
When the constant communion with God goes, our relationship with Him will greatly suffer. Even in our desert (and the more so, if we come to think of it), we must pray for our souls’ revival, our hearts’ refreshing, and our minds’ renewal. Even when we don’t know what to pray for because of weariness and sighing, we pray, whatever the Holy Spirit whispers. We cry out for help, even though we have been doing nothing but that for the last many months. When all else fails and quits, let prayers remain.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6)
In everything by prayer… (Magnify that many times).
Be Willing to “Die” to Self
I have come to realize that the root of the feelings of envy, jealousy, comparison, competition, discontent, bitterness and such, is one’s resistance to die to oneself and to the world. But if we are willing to offer our lives to God in true and complete surrender, not minding the cost, the sacrifice, the pain – then, we will become unaffected by our surroundings. For how can a “dead man” still feel the taunts and temptations of the devil? But when we lose our lives for God’s sake, we will certainly find it in Him. We’ll just have to trust.
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (John 12:24)
So, when we see people who seem to be “blessed beyond measure”, we just utter a prayer, “My life is in You, Lord, now and for all eternity. What could be better than that? I am Yours, You are mine and I will rest in that truth.”
Profess Your Love
With the Spirit’s stirrings, connect with Jesus moment by moment. Let our hearts be lifted to Him and our minds be ever aware of Him. Instead of sighing, mutter, “I love You, Lord. Thank You for my salvation.” Now, I have learned to punctuate every bout of suffering with a profession of my love. Instead of analyzing my situation and falling prey to self-pity and resentment, I pronounce with my whole heart, “I love You so much my dearest Lord Jesus!” If you can only say a single, short prayer, make it that.
Quench not the Spirit. (1 Thess. 5:19)
Instead of focusing on others and how we can have what they’re having, stalk God. Stalk Him, hound Him on all sides and shower Him with our heartfelt “I love You’s”. Let our love be more fervent that anyone else’s, especially those who profess yet don’t do the will of God. We shan’t be beaten by them! Don’t believe the devil’s lies that God doesn’t love us. He doesn’t simply love us, He does it with an everlasting love.
Yes, Lord, I’m for my relationship with You, in spite of all the trials.
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Journey with Jesus,