Sometimes it is my desire to just disappear, into silence , and to only be submerged in God's embrace, His peace, His love, to be content in only Him. It is easy for me to type all of these feelings and or thoughts down on paper, but it is actually hard for me to just let go and allow God to let me feel His presence. Often times I feel that these feelings in my mind could only occur in heaven, because true bliss would only occur in heaven, right? And, because we are dealing with life here on earth and all the many tugs of war going on in life, this true bliss and contentment with God could not possibly occur here on earth, could it? The tug of war in my daily life makes it easy for me to NOT listen to His voice and to share in the true contentment of God's embrace here on earth. And in this darkness of 'whatever' is pulling me in the opposite direction that is surrounding me with doubt, sometimes this is where I fail to listen to God's voice. I believe I could win the blue ribbon for this mistake and yet, as I fail each time and repent, I continue to repeat the same pattern over and over. I need help in the area of listening to God's word. It is this, the practice of listening, that my spiritual director has most recently shared. She is guiding me to pay closer attention to what God is sharing with me; God IS very present in my life and I need to practice the art of listening.
It is hard to verbalize my experiences with God because I, first and foremost, start crying because the encounters are very overwhelming and hard to explain. Yes, I cry like a baby and then I don't make sense. I did this the other day when I met with my spiritual director. I'd start sharing about something, I started crying, which led to something else and then I started crying again which led to something else and on and on. I get emotional when I open up about how God is so present in my life and even harder when I deny this fact that God isn't listening to me. I too deny Him, sometimes unknowingly, like Peter.
When God speaks to me, why don't I listen? Why don't I recognize God's voice? And, when I speak to Him, does He listen too? Is what I have to say to God important enough for Him to listen? And my thoughts and doubts creep in and then I begin to offend the one that I love the most.
And, this point, thinking that God doesn't listen to me and me not to him, would be the actual point of my conversation with my spiritual director this week when she commented to me, "And, why wouldn't He listen to you and you to Him, you too are God's child, created in His image and loved most especially by Him".
Sometimes we don't always like to hear what we don't believe and we don't always like to listen to what we hear, especially when we think we know what is best. Sometimes God comes and puts the brakes on those thoughts and shares something entirely different, it is at this time that we have to listen. I was told the other day that I need to listen better to God's word. I was not happy about my directors' comment because I thought I DO listen to God's word. She pointed out otherwise.....I did not like being told I was wrong. I have much to learn.
Sometimes I have an impoverished method of praying, at least this is what I think. I am working on my conversations with God. I am not only thanking God, loving God and asking God for forgiveness in my prayer, but I am trying to really ask God for what I need, 'supplication'. This is difficult because it is the word "I" that I struggle with in my prayer. What I think I need may not be what God thinks I need and who am I to think I know better than God.
"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it. " John 14:13-14
"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1 John 5:14-15
It is in asking that we receive and it is in asking God, and trusting in God, that God will hear our prayers. I am still a student, learning to refine my prayers. Adoration, thanksgiving, forgiveness will always be my prayer, but adding supplication to my prayer and listening will be my homework this week and yielding myself to the power of God's grace and meditating on his life will assist me in seeing how much God loves me and how I need to improve in my conversation with God.
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
"Say, WHAT? I didn't hear you"?