I’ve had people ask me before how I have such a deep relationship with God.
Being a worship leader, there’s been many a time where I’ve been complemented about how I look so passionately in love with Jesus when I sing.
When I first received that complement it was nice, probably because I really felt like I was in love with Jesus at the time.
But a few months on, I was leading worship one night and I could barely bring myself to the stage because my circumstance just felt so heavy. I was exhausted, I had a week full of intense tension. I was angry, tired and overly emotional. I’d been fighting God about so many things that week.
So many ‘Whys’ and ‘If only you would do this God…’; ‘Why wouldn’t you do it this way…’; ‘Why are you prolonging the healing for this… ’; ‘If only you would come through in the way I want you to…’. I challenged him that week in more ways than I can count. And due to my stubborn nature, I sung my way through that worship set still super fiery about my circumstance.
Later that night I was offstage mingling, when someone came up to me and told me how I looked really beautifully in love with Jesus that night and how it had really moved something in them. It caught me off guard. Why? Because I was definitely not feeling in love with him in that moment and I couldn’t believe it looked like that. (I mean THANKYOU Jesus for your grace over my life that you would actually use me like that during that time!!) But heck no, I’d been wrestling & pulling up deep messy roots that whole set.
Wrestling with God does not make you a weak believer. Through my teen years I didn’t take my unbelief to God. Why would God care about my unbelief? Wouldn’t he would want me to be strong in faith? Of course he does! But he wants my heart.
The more I learned about his nature, the more I realised how wildly passionate he was about me. He doesn’t want me to withhold. He’s after relationship with me. He gave Jesus so he could be close with me.
When I wrestle with God in my trials, I’m not worrying about him leaving me because I know the ground I walk on is solid. I know nothing can come between us. There is no fear in that sacred place.
But it wasn’t always like that.
When I first came to God with doubt and confusion, it was scary. I had to take a leap of faith and trust that the fact I doubted him so much was actually okay. I had to learn that his grace was sufficient and that he would teach me how to trust him.
The right time
I don’t wrestle with God all the time.
I love Ecclesiastes where it says there is a right time for every season under heaven. And in agreeance with this scripture, there is a right time for me to come to God in my fiery emotional state and there is also a time where I need to zip it and remember that I’m actually talking to the creator of the universe who knows all things.
There is ‘A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak’ (Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 6). If I constantly ran around arguing with God about the happenings of my life, I’d look like an arrogant spoilt child who doesn’t know the true goodness of her Father. If I entered every worship set wrestling with God and focusing only on my problems rather than his people and his father heart for them, it would not work.
There is a humility in submission, and trusting God knows what’s best when I don’t.
In the book of Genesis, Jacob physically wrestles God all night until daybreak. In the end, God touches Jacob’s hip so that it is wrenched when he continues to fight. Whether Jacob continued to limp for the rest of his life is unknown but it says, ‘Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip (Genesis chapter 32, verses 30-31).
When I wrestle with God, despite my stubbornness, God kindly and so very gently leads me to a place where I see his sovereignty over my circumstance.
When I realise how big God is compared to my trial, all my efforts to fight him fall apart. Submitting to God is no easy feat, but it’s the safest place I know to be. Peace reigns in submission to the Father. Trust accompanies that place also. The more I submit to him, the easier it is to do the same next time round. Submission humbles me, to no longer wrestle with him but to say “Yes” no matter what.
He is sovereign over all the earth, and he is a good Father.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans chapter 8, verse 28).
Shannon Munyard is home to the Adelaide Hills where she works as a horse riding instructor and equine assisted learning facilitator at a non-for profit youth campsite. Shannon is passionate about authenticity, and seeing people connected to their hearts. She loves the outdoors, bush camping, pondering deep questions and Jesus.