for while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. [2 corinthians 5:4]
we’ve been writing these “in the presence of God” writings for quite awhile now. all the way through 2 timothy, and now into chapter five of 2 corinthians. sometimes it can be easy to forget the overarching point of why we are writing them (i say this to you, the reader, and to me, the writer). these daily devotionals are not meant to be inductive, complete inductive theological studies. they are meant to drive us into, and guide our time, in the presence of God. in a time where it is difficult to be in the presence of people like we are used to, it is important to remember that through Christ nothing can keep us out of the presence of God.
with that thought in mind, i know there can be times in our walk with the Lord where our time spent resting in his presence can feel more like a chore than a privilege. sometimes that is because of the state of our heart – sin or hurt that we don’t want to bring before the Lord. but sometimes, it is because it feels dry. like there is no purpose to the time.
the american church talks constantly about relationship with God. but, we can so quickly fall into a rote routine in our time with the Lord. read some scripture, say the same prayer, 10 minutes later good to go for the day. in my relationship with my wife, some days we laugh together. some days we cry. some days we are scared, hurting, joyous, bored, tired, or a mix of all of the above.
today i want to encourage you to take some time to explore a different angle on your time spent in the presence of God. an angle you may have not taken before, or taken in awhile. groan. paul says, in this tent we groan. i want to be very clear upfront. this is not grumbling and complaining. this is 1) recognition of the pain, sin, and shortcomings of this broken world. 1) it is acknowledgment of the hurt our hearts experience. and 3) it is profession that God is the one that can restore, redeem, and fix what is broken in the world – and asking him to do just that.
so today, allow yourself to process some of the things that burden your heart and simply bring them to the presence of the Lord, asking him to do something with them. psalm 42 & 43 are great scripture to help guide your heart and thought process as you walk through this time.
why are you cast down, o my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
hope in God; for i shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
~ keith kozlowski