Connections / by maureen maniquis

Do you ever find yourself making life way more complicated than it needs to be?  I can be one of those people that tend to overthink things.  For instance, for some time now, I have been in a bit of a fog.  You know, that inability to focus and feel things that should matter more than they seem to.  I seem to be going through the motions a lot rather than experiencing the moments.  I wouldn't say I'm completely numb but rather in and out of connection, so to speak.  It's a bit like when you're having a phone conversation and the other person's voice keeps cutting out.  You look at your LTE connection and see you have only one bar.  You move around from room to room trying to correct the problem.  Eventually, you just say, "I'll call you later" and hang up.  Trying to piece together the point of the call can be somewhat frustrating.

This has been the state of my relationship with God lately.  I'm making the daily "call" but more often than not, I only have one bar.  I hear the Words before me.  I try to process them.   I try to listen intently to the voice on the other end of the line but the connection keeps breaking up.

Here comes the overthinking part.  I spend a lot of time burning up my brain cells to decipher the cause of my problem.  Why do I only have one bar?  Is there some deep rooted unconfessed sin in my heart that is blocking the airwaves?  Has the electromagnetic field of radiation coming off my cell phone caused a brain tumor?  Maybe my heart is still unregenerate and I've been deluding myself all these years.  Maybe I need a new phone! The seeming distance I feel at times from the Lord is a lie.  His voice is saying "I am with you always" and "I will never leave you" .  There is never a disconnect with Him.  How can there be when his very being has come to dwell within me.  This is his promised guarantee to anyone who has been made new by the Holy Spirit; this free gift is given through simple faith. 

What I came to realize this morning, as I was reading through Psalm 63 and hearing the longing in David's heart for the presence of the Lord is that, unlike David, we are always in the "sanctuary" of God.  And what I have not been doing is giving thanks for that privilege.  As David says,  "because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you...I will praise you as long as I soul will be satisfied...with singing lips my mouth will praise you." Psalm 63:3-5.

We can't truly praise without a thankful heart.  Meriam-Webster lists the synonyms for thankful as blissful, delighted, joyful, satisfied.  This is what I have not been "feeling" because my heart has been focused on me and my feelings intead of the glory of God.  The beauty of his ever-present sanctuary, his throne room, where I am allowed to live my life with all the privileges of a child of the King, should bring me to my knees in worship because his love is better than life.  Through thankfulness we experience the joy of our salvation. 

It's really quite uncomplicated.  Oh look! I have 4 bars!

"Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king." Psalm 45:15

"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me in garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness." Isaiah 61:10