Never Alone by Annelise
On the path through life with God, people experience times of uncertainty or crisis. Unanswered questions and painful experiences can make it hard to trust that we are walking securely, with God lovingly guiding the path of those who seek Him. Even without questioning God, we can question ourselves, confused whether the path we are choosing is one that leads near to Him or away from Him.
The emotions of fear, tiredness, panic, disillusionment, hurt, sadness, frustration, wonder, and yearning for fulfillment can’t be hidden from God, and they shouldn’t be. He made us and every part of us exists continually because of Him. It helps to talk about these things with other people, companions and teachers who share the journey with us. But the truest place to bring these emotions, either with words or without, is into the heart of our Maker. We may not even feel sure how He relates to us, but our whole lives are in Him; He knows us.
This means that all emotions are appropriate to open to God in prayer. We see this in Job’s story and in prayers such as the psalms. These people humbly remembered that God is their king and that goodness only comes from the Creator, but they didn’t flatter Him with false feelings. They didn’t hide from Him how their hearts perceived His actions in the world, or the way their whole being was crying out from the uncertainty.
There’s another side to the story, though. Our feelings are real, and it is right to bring them to our Father, but that doesn’t mean they are true. A lot of peace is in realising that real feelings of the ‘path’ may be different from the truer responses to reality.
When a created person stands in front of his or her Creator, realising the gift of existence and the journey with Him, what is the appropriate response? Is it anxiety or sadness, hollowness, exhaustion? The truer response is awe, thankfulness, desire, surrender.
When someone looks at the Jewish faith and sees light in it, but can’t feel sure yet whether God has revealed His ways in it, should they respond with impatience, disappointment, disorientation? If we see light we should appreciate the treasure that it is, and rest in that.
And when someone isn’t sure whether letting go of the faith they were raised in will lead them away from lies or away from God, that path can be terrifying. But the truth is that this is only ever a walk with God, and that we can take steps with confidence when we find we have no moral alternative. Until reaching that point, the most loyal thing we can do is trust Him to guide us as we search sincerely, and simply enjoy the grace of His presence in the process.
Over time, the real feelings we offer to God can become truer and truer, as with His help the light of truth fills our hearts. The truest response we can have to any situation is to draw nearer to Him in hope and surrender.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal