Most people think that I've got my life put together in a pretty little package with a cute bow on top. It's just not true.
I feel nearest to God not when I'm a beautiful vase of flowers sitting on the table, but when I'm shattered and broken on the floor. Is it because God isn't near me during those beautiful times? Absolutely not. He's always near me. James 4:8 says "Come close to God and God will come close to you..." the problem with having a life so put together and a life so beautiful is that you're not on the lookout for God. You don't see him. He might be in the room and pass you by but you never even look up, because you're having such a good time at the party. You might be talking to your friend and God walks by and taps your shoulder, but you don't even turn around because you're enjoying the food and the dancing. Sometimes you have to fall on the floor from a heart attack before you need his help.
God is near the brokenhearted. God has been more near to me in the past few months than at any other time in my life, which is saying something, because God has been near to me for many years. I think the turning point for me was when...and I'm sorry if you've never heard this before, but I'm about to drop you right in the middle of the mess, but it's true. My life is an open book, so I have to share this story.
Jonathan and I had a really rough marriage. Actually, that would be the understatement of the century We struggled every day. We never, for months, had a day when we weren't struggling to get along. There was even a period of 3 days where we literally did not speak a word to one another. It was bad. Do you know how we overcame it? God.
God literally broke me. Broke me. You know the verse in Jeremiah 18 that says, "But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over." That's my life, and that's Jonathan's life, which I'm sure he would tell you about, because we don't have secrets about this. We are different people now, whole people. We love one other fiercely and completely, and we get along like you wouldn't believe.
We were in a dark place. But you know what, the darker the place, the brighter the light. God called us out of that place just to show us his bright and shining perfect light, and we've never turned back. I really am a changed person. I literally went to bed one night and woke up another person. I couldn't get enough of the Scripture. I had to read my Bible. I had to get up early. I needed God like you need water on a 100 degree day. I had to have him. I can't even explain it to you unless you've gone through it yourself. The Lord is near you in your darkest times, and he's also near you in your best times. Remember to look for him.
We often see him in our darkest times because we are looking for him. But in the good times, look for him all the more, so you can truly enjoy his presence...with no agenda or needs, or asking him to do something for you. Just simply be with the creator of the world. He's asking to be with you. Don't wait until you have a tragedy for him to grab your attention. He died for you.
And then I went to sleep about a minute later, not remembering why I was so sad in the first place. I have everything.