Five Minute Friday – Lonely Painful Memories

Lonely

Lonely…now that’s a word I’m all too familiar with.  In fact I think I can say I was lonely for most of my life.  All work and no play can make one very lonely.  I knew how to work hard and strive to do my best, but developing friendships was not my strong suit.

·    Memories of phones that seldom ring.
·    Getting home late from work, left time for little else.
·    I chose to let loneliness and lack of trust in God to influence me to make unwise choices.
·    The weekends consisted of cleaning, shopping and church on Sunday.
·    The Lord, church, Bible study and God’s people became my safe haven where the Lord would show me a way out of loneliness.
·    I remember my Bible study leader impressing upon the small group leaders the importance of calling the women in their group each week.  She said that in some instances that may be the only call they receive.  How right she was…what a painful memory.

As hard as loneliness is, there is a more painful loneliness and that is feeling a distance from God.  It may come when I let the noise and demands of the world drown out the voice of God.  Or when I stop paying attention to the still small voice of the Lord, or when I willfully choose to sin.  It’s then that the silence surrounds me and I’m aware that the fellowship of the Lord has been broken.  I feel like my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling.  The Lord has a way of getting my attention through silence and draws me back to Himself.

He never leaves nor forsakes me, but there are times He is silent.

Lord…never let me forget the pain of loneliness.  Help me to reach out to others.  To be a friend, smile, listen and embrace them.  I may never know what’s going on in their lives and how lonely they really are, but You do Lord.  Help me to see them, hear them, love and care about them.  Help me to stay close to You and listen to Your still small voice.

Five Minute Friday – Dive In
It’s another Saturday morn and I wanted to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head over to her website “Lisa Jo Baker Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

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Listening for the Lord

Do you ever experience those times…when God seems to be silent? 
 
That’s what I’ve been experiencing.  Recently, my husband Chris and I were on vacation and departed from our normal routines.  As much as we need vacations…there’s something that I like about ordinary life.  It’s easier for me to be disciplined in prayer and the study of God’s word when I’m at home.  I find that when I’m living out of a suitcase and traveling from place to place it’s harder for me to be focused in my prayers or to read the Bible without distraction.  So while part of me would like some more time off from work…I appreciate getting back into a disciplined schedule. 
 
While on vacation…I didn’t listen to my I-Pod which is chock full of sermons and Biblically based programs.  I missed it greatly.  During the long drive home…I had the time to put on my head phones and listen to God’s word again….and it felt like a welcomed friend.
 
Since then I’ve been working on my Bible study, reading God’s word and coming before the throne of grace in prayer.  Despite that…my spiritual tanks seem low.  I feel like God has been silent.  I’ve prayed that if there was an area of sin or something that is displeasing to the Lord, that God would help me to see it so that I can repent. 
 
I praise God that daily I can ask for Him to forgive my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me.  But I didn’t feel as though God was bringing to mind an area of disobedience that I needed to address.  Yet…the silence continue and I found myself focusing more and more on me and continuing to ask, “Lord what have I done wrong?”.

When I read my morning email devotional from Elizabeth Elliot a quote leap off the page at me, “There is another reason, I think, for the cause of the feeling (a spirit of discontent) within us.  It comes from the flesh and self-introspection.  It is good for us to look at self and know how loathsome it is, but with one look at self we must take ten looks at Christ.”

When I read that quote, I realized that in the time of silence from God, I had turned my focus inward.  In my attempt to examine myself for sin or a barrier between God and me…I had taken my eyes off the Lord. 

I need to keep my eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, stay in the word of God and preserver in prayer.  God calls us to walk by faith, not by sight.   I must not allow myself to be drawn off course by my feelings.  When I’ve sinned, I can trust the Holy Spirit to bring it to mind so that I can confess and repent. 

No matter if it’s a fruitful and intimate time with the Lord or a time of silence…I need to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ.

At a Distance

If feel a distance
A wall
Only silence
 
I know from Your word
You will never leave
Nor forsake me
 
Why then
Oh why
Can’t I feel Your presence
 
Is there sin in my life
Un-confessed
Without repentance
 
Have I failed to obey You
Put other gods before You
Do I have a haughty spirit
 
I feel as if I’m in a fog
Somewhere beyond the misty clouds
You are there
 
Like the sun
Piercing  through a fog bank
I long to feel Your presence
 
 
By Susan Bunts Wachtel
August 4, 2010

 
 
Do you ever go through times…where you just don’t feel God’s presence?
 
That’s what I’ve been feeling for a little over a week and I’m not sure why?  I know with absolute confidence that God is with me.  He has promised to never leave nor forsake me.  To quote the Psalmist, “If I make my bed in hell, Thou art there.” 
 
While I wait to feel God’s presence once again, I examine myself…to see if there is anything in my thoughts, attitude or actions that are sinful and displeasing to the Lord.  Something that has caused a break in fellowship.  At times like this…I so long for and desire His presence.  He is my life and my joy.