Seeking His Presence
by Jennie Frizzell
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I was in a crowded theater, standing at the edge of the crowd, near the wall. There was a man on the stage. I knew it was Jesus. The people were waving their hands and shouting, "Pick me, pick me." I was just standing there looking at Jesus, all my attention on just being in His presence. I didn't want to be anywhere else, then or ever. I only wanted to see Him and listen to what He had to say. The lighting was dim on the crowd, but I could see Jesus clearly. He was looking around at all the faces while they waved their hands and shouted, some standing on the tips of their toes to tower above the others. What will He say? What will He do? Whom will He choose? All of a sudden, Jesus looked toward me, pointed his finger at me, and firmly stated, "I choose you." I gasped, frozen in amazement, wonder, and excitement. I didn't know He had even noticed me. I awoke. I spent the day in awe.
That was 12 years ago. I want to be there in that dream again. I want to see Jesus and hear His voice. I want to be able to give Him all my attention like that again. I want to feel that same amazement, wonder, and excitement. But, I feel a million miles away. I know it is my own doing. Little by little, my attention was diverted toward other things. Then there was that one day. I remember the specific day that my deep disappointment kept me from wanting to trust Him again. That was about seven years ago. Why can't I find the words to say? I don't even know what is going on inside of me to know what to say. I want to be transparent before Him, but I can't seem to find my own thoughts any more. What is preventing me from facing Him? What am I trying to hide? Is there something in my heart that I don't want to face myself?
Why did He choose me? What did He choose me for? I want to go back to that moment. I want to start over! I want to erase the moments between that moment and this one. I know my disappointment is childish. I know my anger has no justification. He is God. He can do what He pleases. All things turn out for good to those who love Him. I know it's true. So why did I get so upset? Why so disappointed? Was it the final straw after so many years of loss? There was death. There was broken relationships. There was depleting finances. There were daily struggles to maintain a certain level of saneness. And, what about all the evil that seems to try to chase all hope and joy out of every moment? Something breaks. Something is lost. Hearts ache. Thoughts get hazy. Words get twisted. Relationships grow weary. There is trouble on every side.
I took my eyes off Jesus on that day. I didn't want to. I tried not to. What was in me that made me do it? I've been searching for that answer in myself since that day. I try to commune with the Lord, but my mind is so easily distracted. I try to open up my heart and mind before Him, but both seem disconnected from each other, and from Him. Numb. Chained. How can I break free? "The truth shall set you free." I knew the Truth. He set me free. How did I become so bound again?
I ask. I seek. I knock. My mind wanders. And, I wonder.
Maybe. Maybe today I will see Him again. Maybe my heart will break open and pour forth all its pain and hidden secrets. I know that is what it must do. The wounds must be unwrapped and exposed. A circumcised heart is healed. Free. At peace. And continually in the presence of God. My heart knew this realm once before. Why did I hide again? How do I freely expose myself to the Light once more?
My heart pleads. Bleeds. Mind and body seek escape.
I speak to self, trying to convince mind and body to submit. It rebells. I commune with my heart to seek its thoughts. It is too silent to bear. Is it afraid of exposing its pain and disappointment? Afraid to want? If the heart refuses to recognize it is wanting, it can not be disappointed. I can almost hear my spirit crying out for release, but mind and body drown out its voice. Submission seems utterly hopeless. Who can, who will...deliver me from this wretchedness? Who can save me? With man, this is impossible. With God, all things are possible. So, I persevere. Though I slip, I gain a foothold. Though the mountain is very high, very difficult to tread, the Lord makes a way for me. I wonder. I ask. Must I go down to the valley so that I remember where I came from? Must it be so to remember Who brought me up? Who lifted me out? I reflect. I remember. Not by my might, nor by my power, but by His Spirit. He did this all by Himself for me, and He will do it again. I see a glimpse of the top of the mountain. I tell myself to not let the image fade.
I ponder thoughts of that Man on that stage. I realize. I smile. I was not there to receive attention, but to give my attention to Jesus. Neither was Jesus on that stage to receive attention. He was there to GIVE His attention. And, He gave it to ME! I tell myself, "Forget about yourself." I know if I do, I can be awed by Him again. I begin to remember that awe. My desire for Him grows.
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Wow, you have peeled back the curtain and allowed us to view your very deep emotion struggles with the Lord. I believe we all experience mountains and valleys in our desire to become intimate with God. Thankfully, God promises that "if we seek Him we will find Him, if we seek with all our hearts." My prayer is with you to walk intimately with Him every day.
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