More thoughts from Taylor as he is hanging from 200 foot rope somewhere in British Columbia:
I heard a cover of the song “Sitting on the Dock (of the Bay)” by Otis Redding 2 weeks ago while sitting in a coffee shop in Washington.Unfortunately for the guys with me this is one of my favorite songs, so it got stuck in my head for the past 2 weeks. Recently, one line in particular has been sticking out in my head. It goes, “Sitting here, resting my bones, and this loneliness won’t leave me alone. Two thousand miles I’ve roamed, just to make this dock my home.” It is a despairing feeling to feel lonely when serving the Lord and trying to follow Him.
I’ve often wondered why it is that it feels like God removes Himself from us (especially when we are struggling). I can read the Bible, or read a description of a climbing route over and over again, but I don’t truly know it unless I experience it. So to me, it’s truly baffling as to why God would seem to remove himself from us and leave us alone. My first and foremost thought tends to be that it may FEEL like He is leaving us but He isn’t.
He is drawing us out of ourselves; both from our comfort zones and out of who we are apart from him. But I think that it is deeper than this, and simpler, and complicated, all at the same time. And, I think that if we could nail one word to this, that word word would be FEAR.
I tend to trust more of what I can see than what I can’t see (it is difficult to drive at night without your headlights on). But I get so caught up in what I can see, that I become afraid to trust Him to lead me in the places I can’t see. Before we are saved, we are we are chained to our sin – both out of actions and our nature. He comes to us and unlocks the chains that bind us so tightly and we are freed by Him and to Him. We follow Him for a while then we revert back to what we know, attempting to make our own path. Then and there, we find ourselves caught up in our old chains, they are not locked, but, being in darkness we cannot tell otherwise. So, we merely assume they are locked and we become stuck, alone, and cry out in need. But, our God doesn’t scold us. He simply comes to us and shines his light upon us to show us that we are not bound to the chains that held us so tight. But, often times, we are still afraid and in fear, we fail to see we are free. We assume he came and saved us, and then we go back again to our chains because, as unfortunate as it is, it is all that we know. And since it is all that we know, it is all we accept and it feels comfortable. And when it is all that we accept, we live constricted and confined in fear and do not trust the God of patience, love and light; who has already delivered us to freedom and protection in him. But we make excuses, and say that we want things like freedom, love, fellowship and independence etc. So, we look to find these things that God so graciously gives in the place that is familiar-our chains. The very chains we are freed from, the very chains that make us captive. But God intervenes and clarity ensues and we realize that the moment that we stop choosing him, we instantly choose chains (Belief being just as love, a choice and an action with which the feelings follow and fluctuate.).
So much that he sent his one and only son to die for us, that God, our God, is ever distancing himself from us. I do, however, see it far more likely that we stop following him out of fear – fear of trust, of the unknown, of pain and of hardship. And when I think of that song by Otis Redding (which is a great song), I think that truly it is us who won’t let this loneliness leave us alone.
Revelation 3:19-20 says, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 “walk by faith and not by sight”, Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters”, (Also, check out Isaiah 49:8-16)
I continue to be amazed at the lessons Taylor is teaching/reminding me of from God. Thanks son!