Forgetting His Wonder

This is an age where our sense of spiritual possibility, transcendence, and the presence of God has been drained out. What’s left is a spiritual desert, and Christians face the temptation to accept the dryness of that desert as the only possible world. We have enough conviction and faith to be able to call ourselves believers, but we’re compelled to look for ways to live out a Christian life without transcendence and without the active presence of God, practicing what Dallas Willard once called ‘biblical deism’ — a strange bastardization of Christianity that acts as though, once the Bible was written, God left us to sort things out for ourselves.

In such a world, the Bible feels like a dead text and our prayers seem to bound answerless off the drywall… We might be fluent in the language of faith but unable to pray, overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, and victim to the compulsive, distracting habits that fill our age. We might be able to articulate the doctrine and dogma of the gospel but feel as though we’re doing so from the outside looking in.
— Mike Cosper, Recapturing the Wonder

I haven’t been dishonest in saying in these last few posts of mine that these last months have been weighing on me, heart and soul. Today, I am here doing laundry and picking up the house before heading off to class for the afternoon. I’ve been praying less and less, wondering if He really is the God who hears, knowing He is, but having firm lingering unbelief weeding it’s way through my heart. Circumstances have pushed their way into being my god once more, dictating whether or not the Spirit is moving or going to make a way.

Mike Cosper’s book, Recapturing the Wonder, was truly a page turner, as I got the book on Friday and finished it within a few hours (like a good book team member). I’m a bad book owner in that I dog-ear the pages that stick out to me, remembering to go back to those pages once I am finished to recall those truths that can be very seriously life changing. There were certainly plenty of those, making it hard to figure out what exactly to pinpoint as I thought through the many ways God was convicting my heart gently. Book plug aside, this one came at such a beautiful time for the Lord to use it to point me back to Him.

In a world where I find myself compulsively checking my phone as a liturgy, as soon as I wake and before falling asleep, dissatisfaction and the need to be omniscient have been illuminating my face every single day with the glow of the screen. I found myself counseling someone one day to take a step away and rest, while ignoring the fact that the Spirit had those words for me. Like the above quote said, I found myself fluent in the language, but my heart had forgotten the language. Lord, have mercy.

Maybe the desert seasons not only push us to pursue the heart of God because we long for what is lost, but they also prune away that which is ugly, that which finds itself to be too religious to look at the Cross of Christ for comfort. Maybe the desert is only the desert so that, like when something is aching in our body, we go to the physician to fix what has dried up. Maybe all of life is that beautiful paradox of grace and struggle, and we can finally stop attempting to dress up the desert and call it for what it is so we may find that life abundant, bearing the scars of a wrestling match. It takes a death, many deaths, of saying no to what looks appealing in order to reorder a life that bears much fruit.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

So I take a deep breath of the warm, glory filled smells of Downy from my fresh pile of laundry, I thank God for the beauty found amidst mundane, and I praise God for another morning where the sun has come up and His mercies are new. I wear the limp proudly, a badge saying to all who see that His grace is here; it has found even me. I bask in the paradoxes found in this faith, dying to my need-to-know heart, and asking Jesus once more to help me bear whatever Cross today finds. The battle has been won, friends, and I want each step and breath to once more leave me in awe of wounds ever flowing, grace upon grace, calling me into a new Kingdom where I am not god.