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What if God doesn’t show up?

Because sometimes when you’re in that place where the salt rubs, where the ache is real, where numbness seems like a better option, it’ll get better isn’t what you need to hear. Hang in there isn’t what you need to hear.

Sometimes more than you need to hear anything you need to see something real.

I sat there on the couch in the quiet, picking at the small, threadbare spot in the blue slipcover.

Frayed, I thought. I’m frayed. And a little afraid.

It’s not often we let ourselves go into the space where we’re silent and vulnerable with our deepest fears, deepest desires, deepest hurts. It’s even rarer that we put ourselves in that space on purpose.

Maybe it’s because we’re afraid to fully see our frayedness.

Maybe it’s just plain easier to be distracted.

Or maybe it’s because we’re scared that when we finally sit still and put it all out there, God won’t show up. And if we lay it all out, and He doesn’t show up to rush into that space, will our emotions overwhelm us?

Discomfort is a feeling we don’t really love.

But rawness and rejection are feelings we avoid at pretty much any cost.

This weekend, I got to meet a new friend who’s been walking some hard roads. We talked for a few minutes here and there before she sat down beside me at one point and said quietly, “I really want it. I know God’s there. But I just can’t seem to get it.”

The “it” was peace.

But she was afraid if she sat still, unbearable emptiness would gnaw at her frayed soul rather than peace rushing in and putting it back together.

It’s a valid fear. I don’t know that most of us haven’t felt that way before. Because what if it takes more than once? What if the first time we open our souls to the silence, it feels like salt in our wounds? What if it still does the second time? And the third time?

But what if, in order to really know God, that’s what we have to do? What if we have to face ourselves honestly and devote time to tune our hearts to want God more than anything else? What if we have to be willing to keep stepping into that silent space and tell Him we’re ready and willing to lay down the things we want — all of it — if we can get all of Him in return?

And that if the cost is a little discomfort, we still want Him.

And if the cost is all of ourselves, if it’s anything and everything, we still want Him.

It’s not easy. But it’s worth it.

As I sat beside my friend this weekend, all I could think to say back was … it’s real. It’s real, and it’s worth it.

Because sometimes when you’re in that place where the salt rubs, where the ache is real, where numbness seems like a better option, it’ll get better isn’t what you need to hear. Hang in there isn’t what you need to hear.

Sometimes more than you need to hear anything you need to see something.

And that something is what real peace from Jesus looks like when it’s smashed across someone’s face, across someone’s life.

I remember when I was in that place where silence meant salt-rubbing, the only thing that made me sit still, read the Bible and keep asking God to show me who He really was at any cost was that I saw some people who really loved Jesus … people who wore it a lot differently than I did.

I didn’t know how to get it. I didn’t know what it would feel like.

But I knew it had to feel different, or they wouldn’t be so different.

I knew it had to be real.

And that meant I could have it too.

I was driving somewhere the other day with another friend and talking about how easy it is for us to distract ourselves and not ever sit still, even when we know doing it is worth it.

And she said this:

“It’s such a hard thing to make ourselves do sometimes, especially when we’re not in the habit. But it really does make such a difference. And if you think about it, God is smart in the way He rigged this. Good things always take work and sacrifice, so why should the best thing we can have not take everything we have?”

She’s right.

It’s real, but it’s not easy.

It’s free, but it costs everything.

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

It starts in the quiet of our hearts with the whisper of His truth … the silence of our surrender … then the roar of His peace.

He’ll show up.

He always does.

*****

And that’s the story told in “I Don’t Wait Anymore” the book … how the best things are worth our whole lives, and how God is worth so much more than our dreams.

Are you ready to let go? Or at least ready to think about it?

His story’s just waiting for you to reach out and grab it.

Now at Barnes & Noble and other retailers. Check it out here.

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