A couple weeks ago, as 2012 was coming to a close, I found myself, in a rare moment of silence, reflecting on the year. No doubt it had been quite challenging for a number of personal reasons - family illness, the stress of figuring out my major, and spiritual difficulties that come with a newly cultivated faith. Despite all of this, however, I looked back and saw how God had been acting in all those hard moments and this gave me hope for the future, hope for 2013.
I recalled one of my favorite verses:
I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope.
- Jeremiah 29:11
Isn't astounding to know that at this very moment God is thinking about each one of us individually? And he's not just thinking random thoughts, reprimanding us for our faults, or even simply watching us. Thoughts of peace... to give you a future and hope. He is here loving me, loving you, loving all of us.
How easy it is to forget that! In fact, how easy it is to disregard God's presence, or even to imagine Him far off like at the top of a very tall tower watching everyone - distant and impersonal.
Immanuel, God is with us.
He is with us at every moment of everyday. He knows our deepest desires, our insecurities, our doubts. But it is up to us to open our hearts up to him.
But how? How exactly do we open up our hearts to God and soak in His presence?
This was the (probably very self-evident) epiphany I made two weeks ago as considered my 2012.
See, last year my stress level were through the roof, because I was constantly plagued with thoughts about school, grades, obligations, and so on. I just always felt the need to be consistently busy and was always trying to be in the loop. I prayed, but my prayers consisted of me telling God what I wanted and then recounting everything I had done that day, had to do tomorrow, which would then digress into thinking about what I wanted, everything I had done that day. and what I had to do tomorrow.
I was so inundated with internal noise that I was blocking out anything God was trying to tell me.
For this reason, my prayer life was suffering - and I had a feeling this was also affecting my physical health as well as my ability to learn...
More to come! In the following post, I'll elaborate on what Facebook has to do with all of this.