Tag Archives: doubt

looking for god in the darkness

Looking for God in the Darkness



Content Warning: In this episode, we talk about suicide, self-harm, and abortion.

Welcome to Episode 58, a special Good Friday episode of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast. If you’re in a hard time, experiencing a dark night of the soul, wondering where on earth God has gone, you are welcome here.

looking for god in the darkness

This episode originally aired on CXMH Podcast for Good Friday 2017, as a way for friends of the show to stand with us in the tension between crucifixion and resurrection, acknowledging that there are parts of our stories that still haven’t been healed. The truth is, at some point, we’ve all found ourselves looking for God in the darkness.

Show Notes:

Let The Darkness Shape You by L.J. Vanier (read by Steve Austin)
We Don’t Talk About This On Good Friday by Sarah Simmons
Trusting Through the Suck by Steve Austin
Pierced By a Song by Rev. Liz Edman
When Jesus Comes Into Our Great Sadness by William Paul Young
The Work of the People by Stephanie Gates
Stigma by Dan from Canada
A Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde (read by Grace Sandra)
Take and Eat by J.J. Landis
Finding God in the Tension by Robert Vore

Music used:


Sarah Simmons is a writer, learner and creative mess. She’s been an accidental youth pastor, and helped run a mentoring program for church leaders. She’s in love with redemption, pancakes and fish tacos. (Website) (Twitter)

Abuse, addiction, and a suicide attempt weren’t the end of Steve Austin’s story. Steve is host of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, an author, speaker, and life coach.. (Website) (Twitter)

Liz Edman is an Episcopal priest, a political strategist, and the author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity. This year, she created and co-organized Glitter+Ash Wednesday, a project to increase the visibility of progressive, queer-positive Christians. She lives in New York City with her two awesome sons.   (Website) (Facebook) (Twitter)

Paul Young is author of The Shack, Crossroads, Eve, and Lies We Believe about God. (Website) (Twitter)

Stephanie Gates writes, edits, and raises a bunch of kids in Denver, Colorado. (Website)

Grace Sandra is a social & racial justice advocate, wife, mama and a writer of blogs & books. (Website) (Twitter)

JJ Landis is the author of Some Things You Keep: Letting go. Holding on. Growing up., a memoir about growing up after the suicide of her mother. She writes about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day. (Website) (Twitter)

Robert Vore is a writer, speaker, and Suicide Prevention instructor. (Website) (Facebook) (Twitter)

 


To the God Nobody Knows

To the God Nobody Knows



“I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don’t lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can’t understand what is without.”

Anita Moorjani

Do you ever have those moments where your skin tingles a little extra, like someone else’s guardian angel just whisked by in a hurry to get to their next assignment? Those moments where you’d swear God was sitting right next to you, be it in the car, at the office, or the coffee shop? It doesn’t have to be for any reason in particular, and the space doesn’t have to be particularly sacred, but do you ever have those days where it seems like God is whispering things – yet unknown – to the deepest parts of your soul?

Your ways, O Lord, are higher and

Your knowledge is immense;

So give us strength to trust You when

Life doesn’t make much sense.Sper

Logic might say it was just a strand of hair that tickled my neck. Or the air conditioner being turned on in the office. It could have been a nerve-ending gone haywire. Or a random case of goosebumps.

Maybe so. Maybe not.

The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.

1 Corinthians 2: 14-16

These rare and precious moments happen to me from time to time, and all I can say is that they feel like God. I can’t argue it with logic. I can’t explain it away with science. I can only tell you that in those brief moments, time stands still, and I sense the embrace of God. Those silent few seconds, when no words are audibly spoken, deep things are being written on my soul.

In the silence, I’m transported to another dimension. I close my eyes, and I feel grace washing over me. I know it’s grace, and not just a whiff of the honeysuckle outside my window because the honeysuckle has never given me eternal hope in the midst of trying times. This silence – this washing – the Comfort belongs only to the Holy Spirit of God – an invisible Connector between my soul and my Creator.

In Acts 17, some Greeks inscribed a message TO THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS, but the greatest mystery of faith is that this seemingly unknown God is intricately familiar to every woven fiber of my soul.

THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS isn’t a human-made statue. It’s not an idol, carved by hand. God doesn’t equate to dogma, devised by the imagination of those who hunger for power. The God of Mystery is thicker than the incense that fills the altar. And in that Mystery, I store up hope for future days when my heart is overwhelmed.

So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable? Can you picture me without reducing me? I am God, and there is none like Me.Isaiah 46:5-9

It’s easy for me to get caught up in trying to answer all of life’s big questions. In this season of my life, there seems to be a new existential crisis at every turn. Should I take the Bible at face value? Is the Jesus of the Bible the only way to God? Can I embrace my faith without abandoning my intellect? While the old me sought solutions for these and many more stumbling blocks, the new me is learning the power of the pause.

With each breath, God is whispering truth to my soul:

Breathe in: I love you.

Breathe out: I am here.

Breathe in: I will never turn my face from you.

Breathe out: I am more than your wildest dreams.

For in Him we live and move and have our being.Acts 17:28

I’m leaning in. I’m taking deep breaths. At this point, I’m not even asking what God is saying. Instead, I am embracing Divine Mystery. My spirit is being cultivated by The God Who Sees Me. I have a deep inner-knowing that the Source of Love is here with me, breathing life back into my dry and cracked lungs. And that is more than enough for me.

To the God Nobody Knows

Steve Austin is a life coach, speaker, and author of Self-Care for the Wounded Soul. Steve’s goal is to help you create a lifestyle of focused emotional health and clarity. Looking for more ways to create space? Subscribe to Steve Austin’s free weekly newsletter by clicking right here. 

If you have a suggestion for this weekly feature, please email Steve at steve@iamsteveaustin.com today. If you’d like to suggest a topic or request Steve’s perspective on a particular word, please reach out!

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