On the way to church yesterday morning, I changed the radio station after one of my favorite country songs ended. Following the mere click of a button, 'Oceans' by Hillsong started to sound through my car speakers. I slowly lifted one of my hands off the steering wheel and up towards Heaven. Worshiping and driving along the vast Minnesotan countryside on a beautiful Sunday, I began to sing.
Just as I raised my voice, the radio went fuzzy. I could barely make out the lyrics, but I knew them by heart and sang them loud and proud anyway. After the song ended, I began to think about that fuzzy radio station in comparison to my daily walk with Jesus. Sometimes, just like that fuzzy radio station, my relationship with Jesus can seem incredibly distant. Sometimes, when things are particularly challenging, I feel like I can't hear Him at all.
As my over thinking, over analyzing mind would have it, I pondered this thought for the entirety of the drive leftover. I could pinpoint so many times in my life + faith walk where I felt that Jesus was so far from present in my life. One of those times stuck out in particular.
Before I was officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis in the summer of 2011, I'd experienced a year full of explainable symptoms. Ones that let me hurting, hopeless, and afraid. Of everything. Life. Death. Pain. Suffering. I would like to say that I would never wish that pain upon anyone, even my worst enemy, but I can't. And I'll tell you why: Jesus used that pain to save my soul. Had I not been at the lowest point of my life, I'm not sure that I would have surrendered my life to Him and I'm not sure that I would be here today.
You see, even THAT particular season in my life - one that I endured feeling the furthest thing away from God - even THAT season was used by our miraculous King to teach me a lesson about His unchanging, unalterable love for us. Looking back on that same season now, I realize it was in those moments... The sleepless nights, anxiety-ridden hospital visits, and never ending tear-fests that I was actually closer to Jesus than I have ever been before. He was carrying me through, moment by moment, and only then did I begin to understand the true meaning of the steadfast love of my Savior.
Though God does not promise us a trial-free life, He does promise that knowing + trusting Him will make any and all things possible. When we get to know Him + begin to trust Him, we are able to seek Him anywhere. In the valley, on the mountain top; in the depths of the ocean, or even while walking on water. We are able to feel Him, hear Him, and trust His goodness even when things are challenging... Because we have experienced His love and believe in His ever-present promise. Because our hearts know Him, His grace, and His love... We are able to listen to His voice even when it is distant. Because we know He loves us with an unfathomable love, we have the strength to face any day.
Yesterday, when the radio station went fuzzy, I continued to sing through it not because I could hear the music, but because I knew the words. The car wasn't silent or merely filled with the sound of a dead radio because I continued on. Similarly, if we continue seeking Him in the trials and triumphs alike, simply because we believe + KNOW that He will provide what is necessary to get through whatever it may be, there won't be silence. There won't be distance, His voice won't be fuzzy, and He will use those moments to draw us closer to Him.
If only we continue on.