I don't know about you, but my life certainly seems to be defined by seasons. Last winter I found pretty tough, as I was adjusting to life in a new place and didn't know many people, so often felt pretty lonely and daunted. Then the spring came, and lots of things started to happen that made me feel more settled, more in tune with God and I went through a kind of spiritual growth spurt. There were so many little discoveries and opportunities and joys, new friendships made, old friendships strengthened. Maybe my glasses are a little rose-tinted now but I feel like I was so aware of the impact of the Gospel on my life through what God was teaching me, that talking about Jesus just felt so natural and so exciting.
But it's the summer now, and it seems to be more of a plod kind of a season. I'm really struggling to engage with God and his Word, I feel maybe a bit numb to all this good news and so I'm much less inclined to share it now. I sort of know a couple of the reasons why, but right now I feel pretty reluctant to take those things to Jesus, even though I know full well his hands are big enough to take them off me. The trouble is, 1 Samuel 16:7 "People judge by the outward appearance but God looks at the heart" is wonderful news, but it's also scary. I know that if I turn to Jesus, I become vulnerable, I can't hide my struggles or my insecurities from his the way I can from the world because he see right into my heart. So consequently, I've just been living 'normally', just carrying on with the day to day things I need to do. I'm not desperately sad, I'm not massively rebelling, I'm not gathering heavy burdens, I'm just not laying them down either.
But today, on my walk to work, I thought this: maybe it's ok. Maybe God never promised a permanent state of happiness and ecstacy, and maybe he never expected it from me either. Maybe God's not looking for me to be a superhero who'll carry his church for him. I believe in a God who is patient, who never changes, who is much bigger than me, who is always compassionate, who is always slow to anger, who promised to never leave me, and most of all, who has broken the chains of sin and defeated death. None of this, not one smidgen, is dependent on me, my mood or my behaviour. And since I have accepted his wonderful gift of life, the only thing he asks of me, is to know him and enjoy him - and even that is not a condition, but rather a recommendation, because like I said, he sees my heart, so he knows what is best for me.