These days, I am waking up every morning to the comforting sound of static.
I must have hit the wrong button on my clock radio, and all stations have been lost. What wakes me every morning now is a soft, gentle, noise. No music. No talking.
I used to hear preaching all day, every day. This seemed wonderful in some ways, but was also confusing. Certain pastors seemed to preach the gospel, but taught that people were bad. They taught me not to trust myself, they taught me to trust God, but not me. In other words, to trust God through them. This was not possible. They were not in my daily life, except through their constant radio broadcasts, which I had my clock radio, and car radio tuned into. I was taught by them, but no one was really there for me.
No one knew about my life or how to pray for me. No one knew or asked about secret sins, or offered a listening ear. No one gave me guidance which was appropriate for me. I was taught in a distant manner to read the Bible. But this was made an impersonal thing. My Bible, on the other hand, is only effective as a personal thing.
Away from this church, it is God and me. I read the Bible, I know all it really says about me. I talk to God every day, and I love people more than is natural for an unspiritual person. And this is not interrupted by a type of church radio which teaches me I don’t matter. They were so diligent, they preached, sometimes the same pastor, nightly. They were, and are very committed to what they believe. But they did not help me connect with God, the way I do now.
Along with this not so distant past is the friends I needed to leave behind. They professed to believe in God, and they seemed to love me. But they only loved me in part. I have few in my life who really care to know me. Being at a party where there is surface conversation, but no depth, laughing and goofing around, but no prayer, even among believers, is an empty and fruitless thing. I long to serve and minister to others, however, for my self-nurturing, I would rather be alone.
I go to a new church now which celebrates the Word, old spiritual hymns written by godly ancestors from past and purer ages, fellowship, and righteousness. I also connect with friends online, finding place to add my opinion to the choir of other thoughts pertaining to politics and religion, being unafraid to state and be who I am. And I have a band of friends I get together with bi weekly to worship God in song.
But my refuge is most often in walking with a God who allows me to be less than committed sometimes, less than dedicated, less than where my own self righteousness would take me. Instead I rest in Him. Day and night I rest in Him. No one can negate it. No one can ever take it away.
No one’s judgment will ever supersede His presence with me, His eternal loving kindness.
According to Romans 8:38-39 “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to” separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord.
Whether I am good or bad, strong or weak, following Him diligently, or resting and enjoying His creation on a Sunday, I am in Him, and no one can remove this. There is nothing better. There is no relationship nor drug that can supplant this, though both try, all the time.
The confusion is past, and I am lulled awake every day into a universe which my God is every moment a part of. I am comforted, embraced, led, cherished, honored, and served by a God who arrives daily, starting with this beautiful comforting static I hear; no requirements, no obligations, no expectations, just a soft welcome into His world.
When I hit the off button on my clock radio, I step out to begin a new day. In brand new ways, He lightens, and enlightens me. And always, He cares for and carries me.