I'm ready to "come back"-- to God, to Tim, to myself. I know I've been avoiding feelings because they're complicated and difficult, but I'm discovering too that my life isn't worth much without them. I feel distant, and now that I'm floating in outer space, not exactly sure how to return to earth.
This past week I've found myself longing for God and not knowing really how to connect with Him. All the familiar ways seem empty, and the one solace I've found is in music-- sitting quietly listening to worship music and letting someone else's words be my own prayers. I like that, but I also want more. I have had a sense all week that I will come out of this funk by God's initiative and grace and not my own effort. That's partly relieving and partly terrifying.
Today I attended the first half of a Precepts training conference where the presenter used the book of Jonah as a tool to teach inductive Bible study. Since I'm fairly familiar with that method, I got to spend my energy actually focused on Jonah, and I was surprised by what I learned. The teacher walked us through the descending spiral of Jonah's prophetic career, and I found myself identifying with the guy in the belly of the big fish.
Jonah ran from God, isolated himself from others, and managed to fall deeply asleep when everyone else was freaking out. I feel distant from God, isolated from others (but circumstance and choice probably), and asleep to my emotions right now. I don't feel sad at all these days, but I feel kind of empty. Our director's piercingly true comment reverberates in my mind-- my joy these days is in vegetables and dogs. Safe. But not "life to the full."
Jonah ended up at the absolute bottom by rejecting God's directions and running from Him. Did I do that? It doesn't feel like it off the top of my head, but I want to at least ponder the question. What got me here?
The good news? Ah yes, there is good news! As I write those words even, I'm filled with a deep and mysterious joy. God rescued Jonah from the very place He had put him. When I see Jonah's rescue and restoration, I see the story of a merciful, faithful God and know I can have hope, too. Jonah couldn't and didn't rescue himself; God did it. Terrifying and also a huge relief. I'm fully dependent on God to bring me safely out of this fish's belly. And yet I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I can trust this God on whom I depend. That's good news.
If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?