Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not forgotten after all

A cry in silence for anyone who would hear
-- funny how the most desperate call is the one to go unheard.
Deafening sound
the others are deaf to,
so deaf that I
took it upon myself.
Just it against my silence,
and presence defeated by absence,
my scream becomes a statue
frozen in everlasting time.

Life isn't all low, but it isn't all high either. It just happened that I had one of my lows.

There is this little corner in my heart that always knows God to be the God who will never forsake. Sometimes though, to be convinced that I was anywhere near the top in His priority list felt ludicrous. I figured there were always people more important for Him to attend to, or people in greater distress that needed His immediate attention more than I did. It seemed like I'd been calling out to Him for so long -- far too long. But I guessed my problems weren't big enough to be rendered a prayer answered. Problem was, my problems weren't small enough for me to take them all in my own hands either. Stuck in the middle, was that a problem God could at least take a little look at?

I guess I got bitter after a while. I mean, wouldn't you too if you were me? I desired for more, but nothing seemed to show up from His side. I gave my thanks. Nothing came. I read the Bible. Nothing in me sparked. I prayed that He would help me understand His wonder. Nothing. But maybe the harsher way would work. Questioning God becomes easier once you keep at it. I questioned His care for me. I questioned the injustice of subjecting me to seeing His marvel be manifested in the lives of others, but not in mine. I accused Him of ignorance, maybe not directly, but I did think of it.

I can't pinpoint the exact moment when I allowed bitterness and anger and forlornness to enter my heart, but it soon made me feel sad and alone. I couldn't even talk to God without feeling somewhat insignificant anymore. And I got tired. Tired of the people who seemed to have it easy and could easily tell me to not try too hard, but to let God take over. Truth be told, the balance between waiting and doing is clearer told than practiced. I asked Him if it wasn't me not surrendering my all to Him or me just waiting around expecting a boom that was the problem, but rather, was it because I was more flawed than the rest of mankind. Silly thoughts I know I had, but so real too they were that they really hurt.

It took someone to finally confront me before I had no choice but to face myself and the way I had been facing God. At first, it still made no sense. I could not understand why I felt nothing from Him even after He had -- I'm sure -- heard my angry desperation. But then it made sense. Just like a husband who wouldn't act like nothing is wrong when his wife is angry at him and who would be cautious with the way he approaches her, the Heavenly Father who respects my feelings is not going to freely approach me when I am not exactly on the best terms with Him. He is probably going to wait for the heart to settle. Funny huh, if you think about it now, how I could actually expect to feel His love when at the same time, I was mad at Him and probably slowly pushing Him away -- and then getting even more mad and agitated when what I expected for didn't happen.

I knew then that if I really wanted my Heavenly Father to work in my life, I needed to let Him into it, and that wouldn't happen if my bitterness was becoming a fortification that guarded my heart. So that night, I talked to Him. I asked God to help me let go of the bitterness and doubts that had been dwelling in me, because I wanted to be on good terms with Him again and to see Him be manifested in my life. After saying my prayer, my bedroom ceiling did not open up to show Heaven shining down upon me. No, no dramatic manifestation of such scale happened. But I felt lighter. Much much lighter than my spirit had allowed me to feel in a long time. That was God's manifestation enough.

Today, I read a section of a book that reminded me again of my God who sees, who cares, who remembers -- through Hagar's story. Hagar might have been a nobody compared to Sarah. But God remembered Hagar the first time she ran away into the wilderness (Genesis 16:7-11), and He remembered her and her son again when she was banished from her master's house. Roaming in the wilderness, Hagar felt invisible. With no more water to drink, she felt hopeless. But God showed himself to be there for her, to give Hagar hope by opening her eyes to the well of water just when she thought she was going to watch her son die of thirst (Genesis 21: 8-19).

Like Hagar, I felt invisible in my own wilderness, thinking that my problems would not compare with the big problems of others in the world, therefore not worthy of God's time and attention. But just when I thought I was going to give up hope, He opened my eyes, so that I can now see His ways of loving me all the while He was waiting for me to return to His embrace. He used the people who care for me to stir my heart after I had closed it from Him. And even when I had given up on reading His Word, He used novels to reach me. God didn't think me less significant, nor my problems too small to garner any attention. He remembered me all along. He was just waiting for my heart to settle, and it took me some time to realize that.

So she called the name of the LORD who spoke, "You are a God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me." (Genesis 16:13)

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