Every time I talk to God, He's eating an apple. It happened again last night.
It's easy to fill a blog with the magical moments of God. The aptly-timed appearances He makes. The joys of simple things like the majesty of creation or dancing in the rain. Prayers answered. Blessings poured out. The incredible stuff that makes anybody remember why they love God in the first place.
But God isn't all sunshine and roses. He's the real moments, too. Which is why, after some debate (because even a writer needs her private moments with Abba), I've decided to share with you part of last night's encounter, that you may perhaps see a different side of God.
I'd been lying in bed praying, sort of out loud with my face buried in my pillow. Tears streaming down my face. There's a lot of stress flying around this heart and while I want to kind of shove that out and focus on what I also know is truth (that even this is ok and there's so much more than this), sometimes, my heart can't take it any more and despite every piece of evidence to the contrary, I can determine that life as I know it sucks and start to cry out for something more.
I always feel a little guilty - often more than a little guilty - when I get in that mode. My life is absolutely blessed, and I am conscious of that every day. It seems less-than-good that I would take the few ways I am still waiting on blessing and dwell on them so much that I neglect the good that truly is. Not that I ever forget it. As I've said before, it's tempting to take such prayers down a long and whiny road and that's not the solution either. So last night, I just prayed. Until I ran out of words. Then a song came into my head - "I am not shaken. I am not moved. I wait upon You, Lord." (I changed the "we"s to "I"s because it was just me.) To follow, "You'll come. Let Your glory fall as You respond to us. Spirit, rain. Flood into my thirsty heart again. You'll come."
That phrase. "You'll come." Every time I said it, which was a lot as this chorus played over and over and over and over in my head, I felt guiltier and guiltier. He'll come? He's already here. I know that. And I was getting grumpy at the conflict of wanting the blessings I don't have and feeling guilty because I already have more than I could ever merit. I wouldn't want God to think I was unappreciative; but I wasn't ready to give up the remaining thirst and emptiness inside me.
Then I sang those words again. "You'll come." And there He was. Leaned up against a wall, eating an apple.
"I'm here. What more do you want from me?" *crunch*
Startled, but not entirely surprised (I know Him for precisely this), I laughed. Out loud. And found no words, right away to answer. A few seconds later, the words flooded out.
I want more. I want more than this. I want you to come and fill in these holes in my life. I'm grateful for what I have, and I don't want to forget that, but I'm really tired of being grateful. I'm tired of pretending that what I have is enough, when really - wait, I know it's enough. don't think I don't. it just doesn't always seem like enough. ok, it seems like more than enough, but I still want more - my heart is thirsting for these few things You won't seem to give me. I want more of You. I want this to be what I long for it to be. I want You to answer me.
That's sort of my answer, as rambling and back-and-forth as it was. He bit His apple again, and my heart went back to the song. "You'll come..."
"I'm here. What do you want?"
And we started all over until He looked at me in that unsettling way that God has about Him as I fumbled for words for the questions I was too afraid to ask. What if I trust You for today and there's nothing tomorrow?
His answer: Yeah. What if? *crunch*
No, really, God. What if this drives me down to the last bit of everything until I've got nothing left?
Again. Yeah. What if? *crunch*
What if I think You've promised me and it never happens?
The conversation went on like that until He had my heart laughing. He's answering my questions with questions, as we know God does. He's inviting me to play worst-case-scenario if I want to and what I often find is that I don't need to. That it's not worth the weight I've given it and that I'm much more content being content with today, which I already know is turning out fairly well.
What I love about His apple is that it's casual. It's a low-maintenance fruit, something He just shines on His sleeve and bites into. It's enough to be a slight distraction without disrupting the very serious moment my often bratty and grumpy heart is trying to have with Him. And it's the epitome of relaxed - He's not worried about this, so why should I be? He is at ease enough to be eating. He is confident enough to be munching. Somehow, His confidence becomes my assurance and things are ok, which I always knew they were even when they didn't seem so.
The truth is that by the time I get all my brattiness out of me, all my entitlement and worry and disappointment and discontentment, my problems don't seem so big any more. And I kind of want an apple.
So finally, I look up with just one more question. Why are You eating an apple?
Because it is good.