*This took place the morning of August 27, 2015*
I need you to know I have been watching you closely the last few weeks. I think it is time that we take minute and talk about what has been going on. It might be hard for you to hear, but I need you to hear it. Not because I want you to feel bad. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I need you to hear this because I love you. I care about you. I’ve been concerned about you, and I don’t know that you have realized just how much those things are true. It’s time for you to hear Me.
For the last month, I have watched you struggle with holding it together. You have been facing a lot of uncertainty about some of your dreams and whether they are coming to an end. You have been struggling with concerns about the future and your kids going to college. You have been working overtime to help your wife feel loved, supported, and important when it has not been easy for her to feel those things. You’ve been concerned about your friends and how they are doing when you have not had the time or energy to contact them the way you feel you should. You are worried about responsibilities and promises that you have made, and how you will follow through. You feel like you are dropping the ball in many different areas of your life – Family, Friends, Work and more…
I know you feel that way because I have heard you talking to yourself about it. (Do you realize how much you talk to yourself?) You look at your circumstances and you try not to grumble about them. I know it isn’t easy, I’ve had hard times that I had to get through without complaining too. You take an inventory and then you develop a plan and move forward. You look at the results of previous attempts and try new things. You really have a knack for banging your head against a problem, you know that? I gave you that trait to see what you would do with it. Sometimes, you are a little Relentless about some things…
As I watched you this week, I noticed that your attitude had started to slip a little more. I saw a more cynical approach to your problem solving, the complaining was a little louder, and sadly, you started to let your temper slip with people. I know you were feeling ragged and worn, but that doesn’t make it right. I hoped you would realize that blaming your circumstances is nothing more than a crutch to hide a bitterness that is building in your heart against those you feel have wronged you even when they might not even think they have. I know that sometimes you have to forgive people BECAUSE they don’t realize what they are doing.
Yesterday I think you hit the wall. You reached a point where you knew that your actions haven’t been right, but you felt too numb to do anything about them. You knew you were about to leave town for a couple of days, and I was pleased to hear you tell yourself that this might an opportunity to unplug from the normal and get your head and heart right. I was excited about where this work trip might take you even though you didn’t want to leave home, and I don’t think you even believed for a moment that you would see any change.
So, this morning you left in the dark hours of morning and began your drive. You turned on some music and just drove. You also did something you haven’t done in awhile. You were quiet. You weren’t talking to yourself. You just listened to the music. That was when I was able to do something that I haven’t been allowed to do in a while. I was able to speak to you. I chose a song, but you heard Me. You weren’t ready to talk to Me yet, but I could see that you had heard Me speaking into your heart through the words of this song:
As the song came to a close I heard something I had been longing to hear again. Your voice speaking to Me. You acknowledged that you needed Me. You told Me that you were hurting, struggling, trying to hold it all together and you needed Me, but then you said that you felt like I had left you alone to get through all of it. You were tired, and you had been doing so much to try and understand and cope, to be heard, to be help to others. Through all of that, you were sure that you had been alone, so I spoke to you again to remind you that I never left you alone for a moment:
You see, Tom, I was there the whole time. I listened to you as you tried to work things out for yourself, pulling different strings and throwing different plans and ideas together to see what you could build that would be a help to your weary soul, for your family, for all the stuff you have going on in your life. I listened, and I tried to speak to you through the loving words of your wife, through the book you have been reading, and even through the encouragement of your friends and people at work, but you didn’t hear me. You were too busy building, and this morning you finally noticed that you had been building on something else instead of Me. I was to be the Cornerstone that you build your life on:
I want you to know, that I saw the brokenness in your heart this morning as you wept. It made Me hurt to see you in pain, but it also made Me happy to see your heart open to hearing Me again – that you were willing to acknowledge my desire to be with you and to work with you in the struggles of life and that you were willing to say that you couldn’t do it anymore and I would need to do it for you. It’s what I have been waiting for. I want you to feel My power working through your heart and soul, for you to listen to the wisdom of My Word as it changes your thoughts and gives you words to say. That you would be willing to set your agendas aside and abandon yourself to My will and to trust Me:
It’s what I was waiting to hear, Tom. I love you, and I forgive you for trying to go it alone. You’re probably going to mess up and do it again, but I want you to know I AM here. Forever and always I AM here, and I will never let you go. Just look to Me and keep talking to Me. You’re Mine, and I want you to share in the glorious things I am going to do. Be Relentless in your pursuit of knowing Me more deeply.
This post has been a little different for me. I might have shared more than some of you realized has been going on in my head, but maybe you did know. I’m not sure. You see, I think that with a few exceptions, I have been putting together a pretty good front in my struggles, but I was not fooling Christ. He has been watching the whole time, and waiting for me to realize I needed to step aside and allow Him to come in and rescue me with the power and strength only He can give.
As I drove this morning, These songs played on my Pandora station, and I really believe that I heard Christ speak many of the words that are written above. I have taken liberty to speak for Jesus in this post, but as I have gone through my day, I really believe that He was there, speaking to me as I finally started to put the pieces together. I felt His loving correction for my stubbornness, and I believe that He was pleased.
Why did today work? I think it was a combination of hitting that wall yesterday, a long drive with nothing that I really had to think about, and the choice to put some good music in my head this morning. My playlist for this drive was random from Pandora, and “coincidentally” every song I heard built on the one before as Christ spoke into my heart to take me through the stages of lamentation, repentance, and restoration. I can’t explain it all, but I know I have a peace that was not there when I left that house this morning.
Relentless Living requires a time to check in with God. It’s not just a prayer at meal time, but a real time of worship through song, prayer, and examination. I stumbled into that this morning, but I want to be more intentional about it moving forward.
Dear Reader, God is watching you too. He is feeling that same yearning to hear you address Him in your struggles. Are you willing to do it? It takes a moment of humility, but let’s face it, we can all use a bit of that! Please, if you could do one thing for me, take a block of time this week to be intentional about talking to and listening to God. Also, please share this post with anyone else that might benefit from reading it. My prayer is that it will be a help.