I heard myself ask this question a few times over for about three months now. I felt that I was in dire need of refreshing. No, I was not bent from work – just a little chipped maybe. Normal, I guess. I was not going through an emotional problem. I read my bible. I prayed. These were the things I told myself that were NOT the reasons why I needed to get away.
Or maybe, these were the reasons why I needed a break. Because everything was normal on the outside but inside, things were a little messy. We know the mess we keep inside. I ‘try’ to keep the office table tidy by dumping all the things inside the drawer. The table looks clean but the drawers are another story. This was how I felt these months.
I tried to read the Bible everyday for fear that if I don’t , I’d fall off completely. I walked the way of wisdom but during the day I find myself making some foolish decisions or spilling ungodly talk. It was terrifying to go to bed at night and realize how horrible I lived the day.
I marched through a ceremony, bowing my head not much as a sign of commitment but in shame for how unworthy I am to say yes to a task for the chosen. Me, chosen?
Most times, I felt God was a little far. No, not that He was. I FELT He was. It was a foreign feeling. I justified it by saying maybe this is how I should always feel so that I would always seek Him. I told myself maybe this is what they mean when they say have a “hunger for God”. But it wasn’t.
I figured, a personal retreat would cure it. A special time of meditation, a special revelation and a dramatic visitation would be the turning point for this.
Until this morning.
My unexcited self went to church (thanks to also being sick for days) unaware that what I was longing for will be answered. My pastor talked about Jesus being alive in our lives. She talked about how, in our daily living we say we believe Christ is alive but live as though He isn’t. It was the prelude to how God revealed to me the truth about everything I've been going through.
Then we sang “He Lives”. And all that has kept me chained came loose.
I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living, Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He's always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He live, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And tho my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading Thro' all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing Will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs To Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, The help of all who find,
None other is so loving, So good and kind.
I saw what was wrong with me. I did not remember that Jesus, this God I believe in, is living in me. So,I desperately looked for him elsewhere. I was like one of those women during the resurrection morning “looking for Jesus among the dead”.
I looked for him in the songs I sang. I looked for him in the feeling of accomplishment at having read my bible. I looked for him in my ritualistic service. I looked for Him in my theology. There, I fooled myself into believing that I can look for him. I. As if my eyes were clear enough to see Him.
But there He was, having not left at all, loving me through my pride, arrogance, my constant defeat against my flesh, my anger and my unforgiveness just to name the ‘majors’. Believe me, people who are in the 'ministry' have a longer list.
I forgot that He was walking with me “along the narrow way” as the song says. I always thought that this refers to some problem or devastation but today, I realized THIS IS MY NARROW WAY! And what comfort it is to know that I don’t have to keep walking to find Him. He’s here!
I forgot that He took the long and dusty road from heaven to earth to find me. Me, the lost one.
And all this time, I made myself believe it was I that should look for him. He's here!
I forgot that He bore to be forsaken by the Father so he can win over death. Win over any form of death anyone can imagine so we don't have to keep looking for him like sorrowful lovers. He's here!
I do not boast of a steady spiritual life nor a strong one. But one thing I boast of is this, that the Christ I believe in has conquered death and lives every day to bring life to me.
I may need a break, but no longer to 'find' God. He's here!
Today is Easter. Indeed, my Easter!
Happy Resurrection Morning!