Soul Cravings

A friend of mine recently lent me Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus. After hearing a pastor speak on the status of God’s promises in your life, we got into a interesting discussion in which he brought up several points that McManus made in the book. It figures that besides being an excellent book, Soul Cravings was exactly on target with every sermon, thought, and verse that has begun to stick out in my mind lately. It always seems that when God wants me to see or learn something, He hits me with it from all directions.

For the past year and a half, this reoccurring issue has been TRUST. Because when it came down to it, I didn’t have any…at all. But everyday, every sermon, random conversation, book, struggle and situation I came across all seemed to revolve around the same 3 or 4 verses. Repeated lessons on trust and faith in friends, family, and God. Trust is so central to relationships and I was tripping over my own self-sufficiency and self-protection while at the same time striving to be genuine and transparent; counterproductive to say the least. It’s a strange sensation when you can look back at the person you were a year ago and not recognize yourself. Imagine standing in a field, naked, without any trees or shelter in sight…it doesn’t matter how far or fast you run. Nothing will make a difference…that’s how I feel a good majority of the time. So exposed. My walls were me. Or so I thought. But by God’s grace, they are gone. Don’t get me wrong, every now and then I still feel the fragments at my feet…and sometimes I’m so tempted to gather them up and try to rebuild my shelter. But I have to make the conscious decision to kick the remnants aside and keep moving forward- consistantly choosing vulnerability over comfort. And with time it’s becoming easier. I’ve come to realize that to really LIVE you have to embrace life and all that comes with it, but more importantly to fight complacency. And yes, sometimes that means experiencing pain and “failure”. But isn’t feeling so much more crucial than being numb? The only thing I can compare it to is that “pins and needles” sensation you get when your leg has fallen asleep. You may never think about your circulation and the necessity of good circulation until you acutely feel that unmistakable pain. Somehow, you instinctively know the pain is necessary but the longer you sit still, the longer it takes for your leg to wake up. The only way to speed up the process is to move your leg or actually walk around. And it hurts like nothing else, but wouldn’t you agree that you are really never more aware of your circulation than at that moment? So it is with me. Tearing down my walls was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but in a strange way, the pain was an unmistakable sign of life.

Somewhere along the way this simple truth hit me: God can only be enjoyed in the present moment. If I’m focused on the past, I can’t enjoy God right now. If I’m worrying about what’s going to happen in the future, I’m missing the beauty of the present. You can’t enjoy fellowship with Him in any moment other than the one you’re currently in. The first part of Soul Cravings focused on Intimacy…the last part on Destiny. And once again, my newest lesson was confirmed. The urgency of the Trust lessons are fading and I’m starting to recognize a new pattern.

Last night my friend brought over another book he had just finished called Chasing Daylight. And although I’ve only read half of the first chapter, of course it is about dreams, goals and passions…funny how I (without ever hearing anything about the book) could have bet that’s what it would be about. Because that’s exactly how God works. You see, since I was younger I’ve had this desire to daily become a “better” and stronger person than I was the day before. The problem was I was doing it in my own strength. Now that I TRUST Him, my dream is reality and the faint whisper of my next lesson is growing louder. So I’m excited. No specific reason, I just am.

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