Often times I can feel so dry. Bankrupt of the presence of God as if he’s nowhere to be found. I live life going through the motions, just trying so hard to get a glimpse of who God is and so desperate to enter into the peace and rest he claims to offer. It’s like I’m walking in a desert so desperate for water. My soul just longs to have satisfaction but nothing satisfies. I read my daily Bible plan but I do not let it penetrate my soul. I read a devotional from one of the greatest preachers of all time but it leaves me empty. I flew to California and Florida, but seeing all of God’s beauty in both places did not satisfy my soul in its deepest part. I listened to sermons but only found myself happy to receive information. These things had no impact on my heart. They did not move my soul. They did not stir my affections for Jesus. “Oh God!” My soul would scream. “Why have you left me?” “Why are you content with your people being so vacant?” I felt like the psalmist:
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”- Psalm 13:1-2
But God is gracious to me
Last weekend my soul was somewhat renewed. I was able to preach the gospel to a group of high school students at a youth retreat. In the midst of that, God reminded me of the gospel. I was preaching on faith, and God also reminded me that I probably needed the sermons as much as anyone. It’s a humbling and emotional experience to preach on faith when your own is lacking. It’s a humbling and emotional experience to preach on the goodness of God when you have your own doubts of his goodness. It’s a humbling and emotional experience to preach that Jesus is God in the flesh, and he experienced all the hardships I have and defeated them on the cross, when my inner self has not rested in that truth in such a long time. It’s a humbling and emotional experience to plead with students to believe the gospel is true in their hearts when my own heart is struggling to embrace it. I truly was not worthy of preaching those messages last weekend. As I think of it more, I have not been worthy of preaching one single message I have ever preached in my life. But God revealed that to me to allow him to penetrate my heart and tell me so graciously, ”Jeremy, that’s the point. That’s the good news. You do not preach in your own righteousness. By grace, you preach in the righteousness of God through my son Jesus Christ.”
I just want to express that we are all just average, broken people and we so desperately need one thing: the gospel of Jesus Christ to penetrate our hearts every single minute of every day. When it does not seem like God is near, call out to him and wait on him. I know we are going to go through times when we are sure God has left and forgotten us. But don’t give up. Keep pursuing him. Keep going. Keep waiting. He will reveal himself to you. He is faithful and he is good. He will surely renew your strength.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Victory is yours in Christ,