It is early morning and I am awake, having tossed and turned for the last three hours or so. Dreams and thoughts swirled, and I don’t remember many of them, but I did check the clock at 1:22 and felt impressed to Google 12:2. Up came Romans, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Earlier in the evening I had watched a teaching by Jamie Galloway on Facebook and he spoke about renewing the mind. I know that’s what I need to focus on, so this was confirmation.
I am grateful that God leaves these little crumbs for me to find on the trail, so to speak, as I feel lost in the woods most times and don’t know what I’m doing or what to do next. All I know is to keep moving, keep chasing God until He catches me. It feels in some ways like a divine treasure hunt, with God showing up in unusual ways that are often so small they would be missed if I wasn’t paying attention. He speaks to each of us in different ways, and learning those ways can make all the difference in your own spiritual growth. One of the ways I am blessed is by this man’s blog. He doesn’t write often, but when he does it is usually significant and always speaks to me. Here is a passage from it:
We all like our mountaintop experiences. We love those moments when we think we can grasp God, or the movement of God in our lives. But those aren’t the moments where growth happens. Spiritual growth arises more often from moments when we say, “I don’t understand this at all” or “What is this happening here?” or “How can these things be?” If we want to follow Jesus, really follow Jesus, we need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
We might call these moments of “holy confusion.” In times like these, God draws us closer. God calls us to change. God calls us into something completely new. In such moments, we feel like the rest of our lives don’t make sense anymore. We feel like new people; we feel reborn.
One of my favorite theologians is a rabbi named Abraham Joshua Heschel, who prayed that God would give him the gift of wonder. He once said “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. . . . to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” As Heschel knew, we are far closer to God when we are asking questions than when we are convinced of our answers.
Perhaps I am learning to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable” but something is shifting. I certainly have had plenty of “moments of holy confusion” recently, although I am still struggling a bit as many aspects of my life are reborn. I don’t claim to know or even understand everything God is doing, but I am amazed nonetheless and certainly have plenty of questions! Here’s the kicker: our journey is not just about finding God but finding ourselves and how precious we are to Him. He is the one who “sold everything and bought the field” for the treasure it contained, that pearl of great price. He gave everything He had to give to “buy our salvation” and bring us to Himself. We are His treasure, and He is ours, and one journey is hidden inside the other. And if that doesn’t make sense I’ll just blame it on the hour, lol.
I should try to get back to sleep. I am going to see dad today. There’s a winter storm bearing down (I think I brought the Alaskan weather home with me!) so it’s good timing as he probably has a ton of wash and needs groceries. I may have found a place for him to stay in my town, which makes me a little nervous (in a here-we-go-again kind of way), but I trust that God will open or close doors as He sees fit. Oh, and by the way I got two extra days in Alaska because an “ice fog” came in and my original flight home was canceled. No visit to California relatives on the way back (I rerouted through Seattle), but I was glad for the added time with my friend. The funeral on Friday went well, and I had two people come up to me afterward and thank me for sharing the gospel. I pray that some of the seeds I scattered fell on good ground.