This past week a good friend and I were talking. I was sharing that I have been struggling lately-God seems so far off. It’s during these times that I wish I could hear his voice. Even a gentle whisper would be satisfactory to nothingness.
One thing that makes this time of life so tricky for me is the fact that listening for God’s voice, at least audibly, is what got me into trouble the night I was hospitalized. Up until my hospitalization, I felt like God was speaking to me. But as I began to come out of a state of psychosis, I realized that all the visions and voices of the past several days were simply a mirage—a promise that turned out to be nothing. I was left brokenhearted.
As I began to recover, I realized that if I wanted to hear from God, I would have to depend on something more reliable then a voice in my head. From that point on, whenever I needed to hear from him, I turned to his word, the Bible, for confirmation, guidance and direction.
Since that time eleven years ago, I’ve dabbled with the whole “listening” for God. In fact, there have been many times when I’ve longed desperately for a concrete sign or a clear distinct voice to guide me. But for me, it’s just not a viable option—too much of what I “feel” like God is saying to me has been tied up in lies.
My experience is an isolated one, and I am by no means saying that God can’t speak to us audibly if he so chooses. But when I want to hear from God, I go to the letter he’s written. When dealing with all of life’s ups and downs, the Bible is my compass.
While I understand that this is how I need to function, it doesn’t make it any easier when it seems like God is far off.
As I was explaining all of this to my dear friend, inspiration struck. I realized that life is kind of like a puzzle. You know how when you do a puzzle you group pieces according to color—whether the pieces are dark or light or in between, they all have their place. There are pieces that are sunny in nature and others that are deep and dark and rich. It’s the contrast that makes the puzzle so beautiful.
My mom used to say, “If you never experience the bad days than how can you appreciate the good.” That advice used to drive me crazy and, quite frankly, it still does. But when I look at life as a puzzle, I realize that part of the beauty of the picture is the balance between light and dark, shadows and sunshine.
When the puzzle that is my life is complete, I have no doubt that the result will be beautiful. And though I don’t understand these times, I won’t wish them away. Each day is a valuable, intricate part of the bigger picture.
On the darker days, I remind myself that the shadowy pieces balance out the luminous ones, making for a picture that is both rich and complete.
Whether yours is a day filled with sunshine or shadows, I wish you peace and leave you with the reminder that the gloomy days of life are just as important as the bright ones. Accept the bad as well as the good realizing that when your days on this earth are done, the picture that God has made of your life will be both a complete and beautiful work of art.
*Originally posted May, 12th 2014 on poolsofblessing.com