For some time now, I’ve been in a Strange Space when it comes to God and faith.
It’s not the type of thing you notice the day it begins, that you take note of in a journal. “Today, I entered a weird wilderness-type space in terms of my relationship with God.”
It just kind of…happens. And then, one day, you realize you’ve been there for A While.
Throughout this While in this strange space, I’ve been on alert for other people who have been in similar situations, trying to figure out how they got out. A sense of wandering, of wilderness, of disconnect from God and faith does not seem to be uncommon–I’ve read books, blogs, and stories of people who seem to have felt the way I do.
The one thing all of those lacked, though, is an easy answer.
I’m beginning to wonder if this wandering lostness I feel is a case of the children’s rhyme “Going on a Bear Hunt.”
Going on a bear hunt, gonna catch a big one, here’s the river…can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it.
Of those options, “through” is not the one I’d pick.
And yet, it seems to be the answer: There are no easy answers. Reading the Bible, praying, going to church, being involved in Christian community–these are all good, but they’re not a magic fix to where I am. If they were, I wouldn’t still be here. Instead, the way out is to move through, not to pretend I don’t get frustrated with God for his seeming silence and the way that reading the Bible and praying don’t “work” like they’re supposed to. No. I have to move through the wondering, the questions, the frustrations.
As I do, it’s not with the guarantee that the answers actually exist in the form I’d like them to. Like I can’t pinpoint a day I entered the “wilderness of faith,” I don’t think I’ll be able to pinpoint the day I’ll move out of it–if I move out of it. Because as much as I believe there are seasons of faith just like there are seasons in the weather, God never promised to be who I want him to be and to show up when and where I want him to and to fit my picture of what he’s supposed to be.
He’s God. That’s kind of the point.
So maybe my “out” will only ever be like more “through.” Maybe I’ll continue to learn what faith looks like when it doesn’t look like what you thought you knew.
Til next time…
p.s. How have you carried on through wilderness times of faith?