If you had asked me to choose one word to describe my life at any point in the last few months, I would probably have chosen the word “blah”, at least in my head. This answer may not make sense to you, especially if you’ve paid any attention to my Instagram feed. My life doesn’t really look boring from the outside, and I’ve even had a hard time explaining why my heart has felt so “blah”, but it has felt this way regardless. At different moments I have experienced some combination of feeling intellectually stagnant, distracted, and spiritually unadventurous, learning nothing and feeling unable to teach or counsel others in any capacity.
This past weekend at a church women’s retreat, I pleaded with God to speak to me. It sounds dramatic, but I just wanted to learn something from God and feel excited about living it out. During the final morning of the retreat, Jackie, a woman on staff at the church, spoke on Deuteronomy 8. The people of Israel are in the wilderness, and Moses knows that he will not go with them to the Promised Land, or the “good land” as he calls it in this passage. He warns the people not to forget how God has provided and taught them in the wilderness. He goes on to tell them that when the Lord brings them into the good land, the land of abundance, they must not forget that He has brought them there, never ceasing to bless Him and keep his commands. Israel must not become prideful, independent, or turn to other gods and idols.
Jackie used this passage as instructions for how we are to respond to God’s provision and lessons for us in the scarce seasons of wilderness and abundant seasons of good land. She asked us to consider what those different seasons of our lives have been, and I couldn’t think beyond the notion that my life right now doesn’t seem like the wilderness or the good land; it just feels “blah”. The retreat ended half an hour later, and I walked away with an inner monologue that sounded something like: “Well, great. I haven’t learned anything this weekend. What the heck, God?”
At some point in the following 24 hours, a thought hit me. It was unformulated at first, but I began to rethink my conclusion on my season of life. I clearly have not been in the wilderness, at my breaking point or desperate for the Lord’s sustenance. But it hasn’t felt like I have eaten and am full”. Eventually the idea became clear: I am in the good land, but in some ways I have already forgotten that God has brought me here and neglected to bless Him. God is showing me that I have been idolizing self and comfort, leading to my spiritual distraction and lack of adventure. I have forgotten to thank and bless Him for his character and provision, leading to an ungrateful heart. It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit uses the stories of fickle Israel to convict the hearts of equally fickle Christ-followers like me.
I am so thankful to the Lord for revealing this truth to me. I have spent the last week apologizing to Him, both for forgetting to thank and bless Him, and for blaming Him for my dissatisfaction. I have also asked Him to help me fight to be fully present with Him in my quiet times and throughout my day. Because of his grace and new mercies, I know I can move forward in how I am walking with Him.
I wish that I could wrap up this story with a neat little conclusion and that these thoughts seemed less like ramblings, but I’m still in the midst of processing with the Lord and examining how to practically work on these things. I do know that I finally feel excited again about my walk with the Lord and for how He can work in and through me in the coming months. He’s teaching me something and I’m excited to live it out in this season and the next, whatever and whenever that may be!
It is my prayer that whether we are in seasons of scarcity or abundance, we would seek to be present with God and humble in posture, learning from Him, trusting in his provision, and blessing Him always.