My small group is reading and discussing Abba's Child by Brennan Manning. I was really excited when we decided this, and now, to be honest, I'm struggling with it.
We just went through the first chapter, on hiding places. I've yet to really find my "niche" if you will - I never seem to fit into one category, instead I relate to everything, it drives me nuts. Some of the girls hide in the crowd while some hide in their rooms. I do both, consistently.
I'm really big into things that are tangible. This has constantly made my relationship with God something that I struggle with - He isn't really tangible. For me, it is much more easy to rely on the people in my life than God - because they are more tangible. I realized this in church today and a little more during small group. People have become my hiding place, and when I need a hiding place from my hiding place I escape to my room.
I feel like God has been setting me up for a while now, to learn to rely on Him. Since I'm a person who thoroughly enjoys routine, I've been a little stubborn in changing my ways. Despite the fact that I know and have experienced being let down by the people I count on in life (and of course doing the same myself), there is something safe in knowing that I can "count" on them, even if I know to expect at some point we'll hurt each other or move away etc. And for some reason, I am so afraid to place that sort of "trust", if you will, in God - even though I know it is contrary to His character to ever let me down.
Maybe that makes sense, maybe it doesn't. But, what I'm trying to say is that I'm having a hard time letting go of my Hiding Places. I am more comfortable in those areas that I know, than being alone with God.
Yes, I know. It seems hypocritical, paradoxical, etc. But let's, for just a second, be honest and admit we all feel that way. Brennan explains it perfectly; "The great divorce between my head and my heart endured throughout my ministry. For eighteen years I proclaimed the good news of God's passionate, unconditional love - utterly convicted in my head but not feeling it in my heart."
But back to God setting me up. I recognize that He's wanting to teach me to rely on Him, alone. To be honest, I'd be dense to not recognize His voice in my life - in multiple areas! And in many ways He keeps saying that this year is going to be new, different, and that I need to trust Him - not my ways - and He promises to provide, to take care of me.
I love Him for that - for addressing each doubt and speaking truth directly to each one.