In my life I have been facing a trial that has beaten me down immensely for over a year. I have had my ups and downs winning and losing battles. It seems lately that my losses outweigh my victories and for lack of a better term I feel defeated. I am tired and can barely lift my hands for another round of battles.
I realized that today in reading and in prayer. I have not endured my suffering well. That shames me. I have allowed bitterness, reluctance, confusion and doubt in my life. The constant battles wore me down and I allowed it. I thought back to my days of being the most content with Christ and it was during one of the most difficult trials of my life. Yet during that time, I had such a strong relationship with God that I had joy in the midst of my trial. Why don't I have that now?
I have become complacent in my walk with God. My brain knows what the bible says but somewhere along the way, my heart forgot it. I know God loves me but somewhere along the way my heart doesn't quite remember so much. I know I love God but somewhere along the way I got caught up in life and my relationship with Him took a backseat. How did this happen?! I go to church twice a week. I serve in ministry...a lot! I pray for a few minutes before bed or when I wake up. I read my bible plan almost everyday on the Bible App. I pray for people and over people. It isn't enough.
My shell of an empty Christian life is most evident in the depths of my heart. In the disconnect I felt during prayer when I realized it had been such a long tme that I actually waited quietly for God to speak to me rather than me doing all the talking, as had become my custom. The silence was awful. The response even worse. I realized how my daily plans and short prayers were pointless and a waste of time. God wants my heart and not my gestures. He wants me to endure trials better because it is during those trials that I should draw nearer and closer to Him and then I will be victorious through Him and only Him. He urged me to pray more, read more and endure it better. Not because I had to "do" something but because He misses me.
My complacency, while wrong, is not what bothers me most. It was my lack to endure my trial better. I belittled my God. I made Him small in my world. I made Him insignificant. I hurt Him with my unwillingness to allow Him to fight for me. Lord, I am sorry.
Have you been beaten down by trials? Has your walk with God become routine? Are you enduring trials and life well?
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let[e]endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4