Life is a beautiful thing. We all have things in life that make it more beautiful. For some, it is the smell of freshly cut grass or cookies baking in the oven. For others it is the embrace of a loved one or a stunning vista after a long hike. We all have passions and things that light our world.
Inevitably, life throws us curveballs and we can get bogged down by stressful situations, friendships, grief and pressure. It can be difficult to find joy in darkness, but at the end of the day, our passions remain. In order to return to the light we must return to what brings joy in our lives, or even discover new things to ignite that passion.
My story with Jesus is not so different.
Throughout my 21 years of life, I have gone from the darkest valley to the highest mountaintop and everywhere in between. Sometimes my love for Him overflowed and my passion to give my life for His calling was almost overwhelming. On the other hand, I have also been in the deepest pit of doubt and denial, wondering if He really was able to save me from the darkness and even deciding I did not care whether He was or was not.
There is beauty in the journey, but you must keep moving forward.
God is so good. Even in the darkness, He is there. Deep down, I have always known this to be true, but even more difficult to shake than that darkness is apathy. I have fallen so often and so easily into a lukewarm comfortable place of the “normal”.
I go to church on Sunday, do devotions a couple times a week, write for a christian blog, caption some of my Instagram pictures with scripture or worship lyrics, have coffee dates with my girls and encourage them to trust God more and wait on His timing… I mean that is not wrong, right? I am walking through the motions, knowing God is with me, but not feeling that fire. What is worse though, is not realizing that something is missing.
I am speaking from experience, hoping I am not the only one who knows this comfortable, normal, “lukewarm christian” trap. It is only when I realize that that passion is missing that I start to get sad, scared and even anxious. What did I do to lose it? Can I get it back?
Thankfully, we have a gracious God who loves us more than we could possibly imagine – so can we ignite that fire for Him once more? Absolutely. There are a few things that I have found can help me find that passionate love once more.
Take the time. We make time for what we love. In this crazy life and culture, we are always rushing from one thing to another, and that often leaves little room for His still small voice. If He really means as much to you as you think He does, then you will make the time.
Eliminate distractions. We always have something vying for our attention these days. Whether it is social media (in its many many forms), texting, television, radio, or other such things, it is pretty easy to fill any “down time” with other distractions. If you are managing to make the time, turn off your phone, shut your computer and give Him the attention He is has more than earned.
Worship. I am a lover of music, so it should be no surprise that this always makes me feel closer to Him. Whether I am playing it myself on my guitar or piano or just listening to tracks on my phone, worshipping always brings my heart to a place of reverence, love and wonder. Some of my more recent favorite worship albums are Be Exalted (Kyle Smith & Lauren Sweeney) and Wild Heart (Urban Rescue).
His creation. Sometimes I need to get out of the place that is most stressful for me and just get outside. Very little brings me to such a place of awe and wonder quite like getting knee deep in his creation. Whether you live in the mountains, plains or by the shore, there is endless beauty all around us. That is His gift to us.
His word. “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) Just read. We have a book that is full of wisdom, love, faith and more. We have the very words of Jesus – if that does not strike awe into the heart of believers, I do not know what will.
Talk to Him. My father once spoke at my school’s chapel about prayer. He told us to imagine a beautiful lush mountain garden, and in the middle of the garden, there is an old stone bench. On that bench, sits God, waiting ever so patiently for you. When you want to talk to Him, you walk out to that bench and sit down next to the Lord. “Oh my daughter, how I have missed you,” He would say. “Tell me what is on your heart.” Do you just spit out the list of things you want Him to do for you? Do you tell Him about your day? Do you talk about your struggles and ask why?
Most importantly, do you listen for His response, or in your own business, do you stand up and walk away without letting Him say a word? When my father gave this illustration, I began to see prayer differently. Jesus wants to speak to me, to all of us, but so often we come before Him with our list of problems, asking for guidance, and walk away without listening for what He has to say. He wants to speak life and love into our lives, if we will only take the time to listen.
Spend the time. He more than deserves it. You will see, as I have, that if apathy is what ails you, running to Him will ignite that fire and passion once more. How can we spend time with the One is was, is and is to come and not fall madly in love with Him?
As always, the Woven Together team is here for you. If you would like to contact us for prayer, encouragement, advice, or just someone to talk to, you can reach us on our Facebook, Instagram ( @_woventogether) or Twitter ( @_woventogether). You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.