Struggling with the idea of creativity. And pride. And comparison. And the desire for human approval and achievement. What makes something creative? How, when Solomon said there’s nothing new under the sun, can we hope to come up with an idea that is vibrant and fresh and engaging? The quest toward creative expression often leaves me feeling like I’ll never measure up, never quite make it to the top tiers of artistry, never reach good enough. I see things people make or paint or build or sculpt or write, and my immediate thought is – mine will never be good enough – never be close to inspiring – never be something worthy of attention. And so the downward spiral goes, until I find myself in the basement of my thoughts, afraid to try, afraid to put one foot in front of the other, because my steps could never lead toward greatness. I am at war with myself, and the battle is draining my soul. My thoughts are filled with the relentless enemy, and his weapons are piercing hole after hole.
So how do I rise above? How long will it be until the God of all creation, the God who calls forth something out of nothing, the God who stands tall and moves boldly with victory in mind, how long will it be until He calls forth greatness from me? And if it’s already in process, which I almost think I believe – that God is writing a story in my life that can only be told on the pages of me – if that’s so, then when will I join Him and stand tall and be bold and confident in the breath He gives to my soul?
I am filled with a heartbeat of tiredness, of sorrow, of tears yet unspilled, and I don’t often know why. I cannot firmly grasp the thorn that pokes and needles and leaves me at every turn uncomfortable. It’s always just out of reach, just where I cannot grab it, and it plagues me. There are moments I forget the thorn, but then it flares up and reminds me that it’s desperate for my attention. I’m tired of the thorn. I’m tired of the battle. And sometimes I long to give up and give in and wallow in the muddy puddles of despair.
But onward I go. Moving slowly, picking up heavy feet from the path that is hard. Looking all around to see if I’m walking alone. Wanting to believe I am walking with the One who walks with me. His hand is held out to me on this weary path, and yet I long to grab anything tangible instead.
I think I fear that hand. I fear the One whose hand it is. The One who leads into dangerous waters and paths untread. I fear what He’ll ask me to do, what He’ll require of me, where He’ll make me go. I fear that His hand is cold, and I forget the warmth of the One who gave me breath.
Where is the God of my youth? Where is the God who can do anything, take me anywhere, know my fears and love me still? Where is the God who swoops in to save, who rides in like a knight on a brilliant steed, coming to rescue His beloved? Where is the God who holds me and whispers to me and soothes the pains of my soul with His whispers of “well done?”
That is the God I seek. The God who so many have known through the ages. The God I, too, have known and even now know even when I think I don’t. The God who restores and redeems and brings vibrancy and life and love. The God who smooths out the frown lines and overwhelms my spirit with His goodness and mercy. The God who offers me Himself and fills me with faith and hope and love. Always love.
It is for you I long, O Lord. I long for the presence of You. And I will find You. Right where You’ve always been. Because You promise that when I seek You, I will find You. Let me get lost in You.
“Speak to him, thou, for he hears. And spirit with spirit can meet. Closer is he than breathing. And nearer than hands and feet.” (Tennyson)