Dr. Crabb states: "We evangelicals speak about having a personal relationship with Jesus. We hold out the possibility of having a good relationship with Him. If that relationship hits a snag or tension develops, we know its our fault. Since I was a child, I've heard the saying, "If you're not feeling close to God, guess who moved?" The message was clear; Every difficulty in our relationship with God is always our fault. Its never His. But especially in the years since I turned fifty, (for me its 40), that message has not always seemed so obvious."
I have often thought about why I felt so distant from Papa at times. Other times I have questioned if what I was feeling was real or not. I have gauged my perception of distance from Papa based on my emotions.Does emotional reactions to songs, scripture, pain, pleasure or other stimulus equate with "feeling" God? I think not. At least not always. Raised pentecostal, emotion meant the Spirit was moving, and that is true very often. When I feel His presence, it very often moves me to tears, to reverence on my knees or some such response to the presence of His Spirit. But the lack of emotion was interpreted to mean the Spirit was not around. And that is a false premise. The truth is simple. He is always near.
I am interested in learning what I need to do so that Papa's name is always at the top of my list. I suspect it will require me to see things much differently than I do now. So what do I need most in order to see things differently? So that Papa's name is always at the top of the list? I think the answer.....if having an answer is appropriate, is time and trust.
The book Shattered Dreams is subtitled, God's Unexpected Path To Joy. This book is really an invitation to joy through Papa, even when the bottom falls out of my life. Is this possible? The answer to this question is what I hope to answer through this journey.
As I conclude this chapter, my take away from the chapter "My problem with God" is this; My relationship has been transactional in nature and it was only as good as my perception of how God was meeting my needs. I guess my life's theme song be Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done For Me Lately?"
I am in a constant state of repentance for this, and I recognize how easy it is for my selfish nature to assert itself so quickly in every situation. Going forward, my prayer to Papa is simply this; Papa, help me to always put you first in every single situation.