I am pretty sure my friend just talked for an hour as I listened and took notes. It was pretty remarkable. As we ended the story of David, I stopped to ask some questions. I was so confused about how God could possibly call David "a man after God's heart", after everything that he had done wrong in his life. I seriously couldn't drop it. I just kept asking and asking, how could God forgive him? My friend was kind of baffled by this question, and just kept reinforcing the "grace" and "forgiveness" factor, but I still had a hard time grasping it.
Today, 3 years later, I have realized that I have been struggling to accept this concept for a really long time.
Through the current life transition I am experiencing, I am trying to take some time to process what has happened to me thus far, within my Christian life. And I am coming to find out that I have been telling myself lies about certain things. Some things I was told, some things I was led to believe, and some things I brought on myself.
In talking with my spiritual director today, some of these "things" were brought to the surface. I was explaining how I felt like a failure for not reading my bible everyday. And how because I wasn't serving wholeheartedly in ministry anymore, God didn't want to hear me anymore. And because sometimes I wake up on Sunday mornings and don't want to meet with God, He doesn't want to meet with me.
I kept trying to explain, I desire for a relationship with God... I miss having conversations with Him, and I miss reading His Word, but how since I didn't have the energy to do the things I thought I was "obligated to do", He wasn't around anymore. I explained that I felt as if I wasn't "good enough" for God right now.
But then she told me this:
God wants to meet with you right where you are.
God is celebrating over the fact that you desire to be close with Him.
God is not angry at you for you not reading your Bible every day.
When you desire God, He gives you that desire.
When you don't desire God, He gives you that too.
And, you will always be good enough for God, because He is the one who is good for you.
She also told me that God prepares us for times like these in ways that we don't realize. Like when we memorize our favorite verse, or worship song, so in our dry times, we don't need the actual music on, or the physical bible in our hands, but that the Spirit inside us will send a reminder.
It's astonishing to me that God wants to be here with me as my tearful eyes look at this computer screen, and reflect on the fact that for the past 6 months, I couldn't overcome the feeling that I was just not being good enough for God, and that He didn't want anything to do with me.
Maybe it is true that one of the biggest lies in the Christian world, is that in order to grow closer to the Lord, and be a good Christian, is to follow the "cardinal" rules of the faith (ie. read your bible, pray, go to church every week, volunteer in a ministry etc.). Because honestly, this is what I was led to believe, and in a way, I grew further away from God because of it. I felt like there was this wall between Him and I that couldn't possibly be broken down until I was submitting myself to all the "rules". And I think if we are honest with ourselves, we will be able to point out at least 5 people who might be thinking the same things.
I have made my life about works, instead of just faith in Him, and
I need to receive His grace that He has given me.
I understand now, more than ever, that God was always with David, and He loved Him. Now I understand why that is my friend's favorite Bible story.