“And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:11 KJV
When do you feel the closest to God? The question caught me momentarily off guard. It seemed a simplistic enough question on the surface. I opened my mouth with a hasty response, only to close it. I felt something advising me to use caution with my answer. I feel closer to God when I am in His perfect will. I can have the nice car and home, and I am most appreciative of it too. These human comforts I cannot deny are what contribute to the happiness of a person. As believers, we want to be pleasing to God. In introspection I’ve found that there is a void within me when I am not pleasing in God’s sight, and I desperately want to be pleasing in His sight. I absolutely abhor that void feeling. ‘What does this void feel like? came the question.
I liken “the void” experience as to walking all alone on a narrow winding path. While walking “the path,” I am overwhelmed with the need (for that is really what it is) to express how I am feeling. I look around and there is no one there, to ask directions from. Take notice of the distance covered, seemed endless, causing your soul to feel weary. As the old gospel hymn says “You know my soul looks back and wonder how I got over.” Hmm, it is funny how a person can linger over a thing for too long. Lingering can cause you to begin seeing things that are not there. False images, is what I call them. Fear and doubt can make even the falsest of situations appear real.Don’t look in the wrong direction, this requires self-discipline and strong will. The mind is a strong entity to control.
I confess to looking. Looking at the other side, I was greeted with the plushness of soft green grass. Its greenness was a magnificent sight to behold. Its beauty was calling out to me. I know the path of righteousness is my destined path, but did have to be so hard and so lonely at times? And so long? Really do these paths ever end? The green grass was enticing. The beauty of it was pulling at the void within me, beckoning me to cross over. And I wanted to answer its summons.
Self-talking with false reasoning, is destructive to your spiritual well being. Certainly a moment on the other side wouldn’t hurt me? Just one moment in time. When you want to do right, in spite of the temptations, you can. It’s your decision. As I thought just one moment in time, - something within me stirred to life. Instinctively I knew that something was amiss. I’ve long since learned not to ignore the warning signal from within. One moment in time, is all it takes for a life time mistake.
I try to keep the balance. I try to do what God has mandated for me to do; with the strong belief that, He awards my sacrifices and obedience. I openly confess that several times, I have allowed my wants to override His wants for me - and let’s just say that there are something’s that can be prevented. I did not necessarily have to experience unnecessary angst and hurts. Alas experience, one of the greatest teachers in life, has also taught me that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
I know it is God’s will to satisfy my spiritual needs, and to fill me with love and happiness. So on the many paths that I trod, the Lord, shall never leave me nor forsake me, as He teaches me. I purpose in my heart to let the perfect will of God become a constant in my life. I may not cross every T or dot every I, but I sure am going to try and give it the best that I’ve got! Never give up.
(Editor’s note: Vanessa Richardson can be reached at email@example.com)