Numb

devotional

I closed and locked the front door as I was leaving. Something bright in the reflection caught my attention, so I turned and stood on the front porch for a moment. Across the street, the small park was quiet. What caught my attention was beyond the trees. The sun had just fallen and the sky was burning bright in pink and orange, like a bucket of paint had been dumped across the horizon. I’ve seen many sunsets before, but this was just one of those special moments. There was a warm breeze, even in the middle of Autumn. A sliver of daylight still hung behind the woods, beaming through cracks and crevices, highlighting branches like fingers reaching up to the clouds. The rest of the sky had given way to night and I could already see the bright beams of stars and planets above. I was on my way out to meet friends, but I chose to linger for a moment to witness this spectacle. Gazing out at the beauty before me, at the culmination of a passing day, I spoke softly to myself, wow, if there is a God, He certainly made one beautiful night…

Wait… what?I paused for a moment and recollected my statement. Did I really just say “IF there is a God?”  I’ve known the Lord for much of my life and God has revealed Himself to me in countless, inexplicable ways. For that moment, for whatever reason, my faith wavered just enough to leave room for disbelief. Sure, it’s a forgiveable mistake and I certainly don’t believe that faith can exist without question, but I felt shame in the words that escaped my lips. My eyes had witnessed an amazing display of God’s majesty and behind it, the Artist awaited my praise. Instead, I greeted His invitation with a response of doubt. I began to wonder… “Have I grown numb to God’s greatness?

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”  -Romans 1: 20 NIV

I know this verse. I’ve used it to encourage others. In our moments of wavering, we can find confidence in Paul’s words to the Romans; words that can put God’s presence back into perspective. When we doubt His love- when His presence feels distant- when we question His existence, we can open our eyes and look around. Witness the beauty of His creation. Marvel at the works beyond our understanding. Be humbled by His unfailing love. How can we look to Him with anything less than awe and wonder? His glory reflects all around us, but sometimes that glory can get lost in the mix of our routines, our inward focus, even the culture of our Christianity. His greatness can cease to amaze us if it falls on a numb heart.

Yes, we know that sin is the ultimate cause of our numbness. It’s the the hook that tries to tug us away from thinking God is anything special. Pain, fear, doubt,  circumstance, they can all blur our vision from seeing a clearly incredible God. Still, without excuse, we are called to persevere. How? By fighting the numbness that seeks to set in our hearts and by chasing a God who can keep the sensations alive. God has no problem sharing His power, His divine nature and His saving grace with us, but we have a role to play as well. He has, is, and always will do His part. We are simply called to seek Him, in spirit and truth, as we walk our lives in faith.

We often cling to the spiritual highs. We anticipate those special moments that will light the fire again. If those moments don’t come; if God doesn’t meet our expectations; we begin to wonder if He’s not keeping His end of the bargain. We start to wonder if we did something wrong along the way. When we lose perspective and no longer see His majesty, our spiritual fire can cool down, causing us to ride a wave of church attendance, ministry involvement and good works in order to keep our spirit alive. The God who once ignited our passions can quickly feel more like a storybook character in a different place and time. The scriptures that once touched our hearts can quickly feel like “old news.” We wonder “why don’t I experience the intensity of God like other Christians do?” I assure you, God hasn’t changed. I believe that He answers those who remain in tune with His greatness; understanding that He is nothing short of amazing. Some of us must first seek His goodness before we can expect His greatness.

Have you ever had pins and needles? When a part of the body is cut off from blood flow, the body will instinctively numb the area. When blood can again flow freely, the body will experience what we know as pins and needles; a sensation where numbness is reduced and feeling is restored. What can we do to get the sensation again? What can we do when our joy fades, our excitement dwindles and our expectation for great things has vanished? We can stay in tune. We can stay connected. We can remember what God has done and find confidence in His promises. When we can see Him for all that He is we can find reason to be awestruck again.

When you find yourself losing steam, losing interest, losing perspective and growing numb, these three steps may help draw you back. First, remind yourself of what you believe, for without it, your faith is just an activity. Second, remind yourself why you believe, for without a cause, you lack motivation. Lastly, seek Jesus, daily, for through Him (and only through Him) our awe can be inspired again.

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