That Real Place

I imagine you’ve struggled with feeling distant from God. Empty. Lost in a sea of messages insisting the God you set your heart on won’t be found.

Doubt sets in as you grieve the loss of that mountaintop feeling—the one that made you excited to follow Jesus. Now the loneliness of the valley makes you wonder if the feeling you long for came from your imagination rather than your memory.

Today I’m excited to share a post from the teenage daughter of a friend of mine. I pray you will see yourself through her transparency. More than that, I pray you will see your God.



That Real Place

By Alia Dyke

 “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

So lately, my heart has been far from where it was created to be. From where it belongs… And when you’re far from where you belong you get homesick and lonely, you crave that place of belonging. I didn’t blame that on anyone but me and I tried and tried to sit down and focus on Jesus. To actually take away something when I read my Bible. To feel something… And I just didn’t. I was far enough away from the place I belong that I didn’t know how to get back.

I am writing this post from that place. That place of being lost. It’s a real place.

Over the time period of my heart trying to stay above the waves of the world that were constantly pulling me right back down, Jesus never stopped pursuing me. He never stopped loving me. He never stopped speaking to me. It’s just that sometimes when someone is speaking to you and you are caught up in yourself, you don’t hear anything they say until after the fact.

Knowing Jesus is there but feeling nothing… That is a real place.

My day to day life was me trying so hard to feel the closeness of Jesus, but being too caught up in my feelings to do that.

One thing Jesus spoke to my heart time and time again is that it isn’t about how I feel. He is still God and He is still good. If I feel happy, sad, lost, confused, loved, lonely… He is still God, and He is still good.

Who knew you could be so caught up in your own feelings to feel Jesus.

When we feel distant from God we try so hard to feel something. We try to connect to a good worship song and feel his nearness. We try to read a verse that we know we like because maybe we will feel the way we did the first time it was read. We try to sit outside with our Bibles in hand and feel his peace. We try to go to church so that hopefully we will hear a message that just relates to our life.

That place where all you do is want is to feel something, that is a real place.

But what if we are trying too hard to feel? What if human nature is all about feelings. And Jesus’ nature is not.

So, I sat down and read Psalm 121 without trying to feel anything. I put on worship music and didn’t listen to it just to feel something. I wanted to be still and know that even when I don’t feel close to God he is still God and he is still good.

That place of sitting and knowing God is good no matter how you feel, that became a real place for me.

And you know what? He met me in that real place. Just like he met me in every other real place. I wasn’t overcome with emotion, I didn’t hear an audible voice, or even feel a change in my heart. I told myself that whether I felt anything or not I would sit knowing that God is good.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, From where does my help come? My help comes from The Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Who am I to doubt God simply because I cannot feel him? He meets you where you are. In every place.

God says be still and know. Not be still and feel.

God says be still and know. Not be still and feel. Click To Tweet

So I sat and knew that He is good. I didn’t sit trying to feel His goodness. And He met me there. And I felt him.

After sitting and knowing, I felt.

And He said to me, “my daughter, it is only from knowing me that you can feel me.”

The First and Only

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

God has this thing about being first.

You can’t blame Him, really. After all, He is the First. And the Last. And He’s everything in between.

“Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together. Isaiah 48:12-13

The God who IS —who existed before time and created all things—longs for us to recognize His preeminence. And to honor it.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

God created us to live in relationship with Him, fully dependent on Him as our source.

Source of what, you may ask? Of everything.

God gives life and He takes it. He commands the sun and the moon. He spins the earth on its axis. He created and governs time. He is our source of love, joy, peace and security. He gives and maintains health. He causes the rain to fall and the ground to produce so we can have food to eat. He gives us the ability to prosper.

Beloved, God simply asks for us to recognize His role.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:16-17 NIV

Every good thing we long for can only come from God. And He longs to bless us with those perfect gifts. But to receive from God, we must acknowledge Him as our source.

This, dear one, is where the deceiver wreaks his havoc among us. He convinces us that we’re responsible for providing our own good. He whispers the same lie he offered Eve in the garden, suggesting we don’t need God. No, we ourselves can be like Him.

So we strive and toil to build the life we desire instead of learning to trust God and receive.

Wise King Solomon had a few things to say about that.

What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

Have you ever noticed that the harder we work, the more miserable we become? And we never seem to attain the goal we seek. We may get close, but satisfaction remains elusive. Because even if we reach the goal, it changes on us like a shifting shadow. Suddenly what we thought we wanted isn’t enough.

And our hearts can’t rest.BlogPosts_TheFirstandOnly

Solomon saw the answer to this vain struggle.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Do you see it, dear one? Every good and perfect gift comes from above, even our ability to enjoy our work. You see, joy is a gift. We can’t manufacture it. We must receive it from its source. And God is the only source of everything good.

Just in case we missed it the first time, Solomon repeated the concept in chapter 3.

. . . also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. Ecclesiastes 3:13

God wants us to find pleasure in our work and in our lives, but that pleasure can only come from Him. Otherwise, it will be fleeting, changing and shifting. Never resting.

That’s why He invites us to come close and trust Him. He declares, I AM the First and the Last, and He asks us to live like we believe it. He calls us to put Him first so His blessing can flow into our lives and out on this earth.

Is He first in your life, dear one? Do you run to Him first to share good news? Do you offer your grief to Him before you transfer the burden to one of your loved ones? Is He first in your thoughts when you wake in the morning? Do you recognize He is your only true Healer?

Our enemy would have us believe we can extract our own good from life. If we work hard enough we can prosper ourselves. We can find healing through physicians and medicines.

God may use physicians, but He alone is Healer. Asa, king of Judah, learned that lesson the hard way.

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 2 Chronicles 16:12-13

Asa was a man of God. He rid Judah of its idols and won great battles by the Lord’s hand. Yet after so much success, he began to rely on his own strength instead of continuing to depend on God.

It cost him dearly.

Nothing the world offers is an adequate substitute for God. He asks you, dear one. Will you live like you believe it?