What about James?

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.....Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you." James 4:7~10"

This really doesn't sound like the abundant life I've heard Jesus came to give us. But it must be. There must be something worth the weeping and the moaning and the gloom. 

I have had a lot of desires over the years. I have thrown myself into ministries and loved hard. So hard. I have had deep desires for cancers to be gone, for babies to be born, for women to be restored to who God created them to be, for marriages to be saved. I have watched the sin and brokenness of this world swallow people whole. Mental illness and the deep psychological effects of trauma run rampant here. Right here, in the great United States of America. Right here in every day of my life. 

My soul is tired. My very soul. I feel it in my bones, in my heavy breath. In my gut. Weariness and exhaustion have crept into every tiny particle of my body and spirit. I don't quite understand why it hurts like this. Why there isn't a break from it. A friend referred to it as a 'hamster wheel.' It all just keeps coming. 

For the thousands of prayers I've prayed; prayers for healing, restoration, life, joy; I've seen so little tangible answers of 'yes' from the One I've prayed to.

So I'm torn. I want to rage and be angry and throw my fists to the air and fight Him, tell Him He isn't doing it the right way. This hurt, this ache....this longing for abundance and joy and freedom, this should not be here. Not if the debt has been paid like it has been. Not if He says He is both sovereign and loving. My soul shouldn't be hurting like this. 

In moments its tempting to say the prayers and move on. But the dilemna is that my heart doesn't work like that. When I pray for the Talibe in Senegal, or the girl who is forced back into trafficking on the east side of Indy, or the friend who sits, still barren....I can't stop at the thought. My heart feels the feelings. I need to DO something with those feelings.

Most days, I just hold them. Because I'm too angry with God to talk to Him about them. 

So it comes out in a snotty mess. In a snotty, crying mess. I scream at Him. I don't understand and this life, this broken, hurting life, it isn't fair. And all that hurt in my soul, in my bones, in my breath, it comes out in the snot and the tears and the shaking. 

My prayer life isn't calm. 

And I get all the anger out. I yell and I sob and I pace around the house. And in the last moments of these prayers, I just collapse. I'm exhausted of the brokenness and the sin and the hurt and the yelling. 

And in those last moments I often hear these words from Him, "I love you and I love them."

Then James makes sense. The weeping and the gloom, they draw me to this moment. And I'm not ok with the brokenness of this world. I still have longings, I still have aches. But I am ok. 

The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth still whispers to me and loves me.

Knowing I'm loved doesn't always feel like enough, but it does make me ok enough for another day of fighting.

There is no logic to make it make sense. There is no way to give weight to why it is worth it. But to be drawn back into Him. To be a crumpled mess and know that He's holding me. He's holding all the mess of me and this world....it is worth it.