September 21st, 2009
Today, I was praying and God wasn't giving me any answers. I'm not the most patient person but I was feeling so low. I needed an answer... even if it was just, “I'm listening, child.” Finally, I cried out in frustration, “God, where are you?!”
“Are you being honest with Me?”
I stopped short. No, I was not being completely honest and forthright.
There are some things in my heart that I am ashamed to admit to God. There are some motives that are so evil and selfish that I cannot bear the thought of Him seeing them. And what of the thoughts in my mind I have that are so fearful... and the lust that I battle with and sometimes lose to?
I, who am a child of God. When did I forget His power? When did I begin to battle in my weakness? When did I begin to love sin more than purity? What must God think of me?
But He has seen. My Master is Truth and He sees all of my heart. It makes no difference if I try to cover it with fig leaves.
There is such a shame when you realize you didn't have to fall. When you realize that you were the one who dropped the sword and looked away from God. That it was you, not Him that let the handclasp loosen. There is not a single justification that would stand the test of God's scrutiny. No excuse that would allow me to shrug off the blame. Not one! I stand before God with nothing but God's love to cover me. And I am trembling in disgrace and regret.
But get this, God loves a penitent heart. Today, I remembered what it is like when in God's will and care. And I came back. Sometimes, when I'm praying it's like I can do nothing but fall on my face at His feet and ask Him to forgive me. I do not get reborn or saved again. I had not fallen from grace. But I had lost something I hold very dear: my fellowship with God... the place where I can look into His face and not feel ashamed because there are no secrets between us. The place where I feel at rest and ready for what comes because He will carry the load. The place of joy and love.
It is so precious being friends with God, because it is not all fuzzy and warm. God is such a perfect mixture of power and grace, anger and peace, justice and love. There is much more to Him than that, but you, my friend, will have to discover it for yourself... If you wish to.
Sometimes, when I write, I don't want to be honest with you, the readers. I don't want you to know how I am sometimes. I don't want to you know how I get so angry at my little sister that I yell angry words at her. When I snap at my brother for being such an idiot. The times I flirt with a guy that catches my interest (for the record, I don't believe all flirting is wrong... but I believe it is when done without a basis of a serious relationship). When I think self righteously, “Thank goodness I'm not that person!” The moments I do not take each individual seriously and pass them without thought as I hurry on my way through life. When pride keeps me from doing something that would bless and encourage someone. When I see Mom's tired face and turn and walk the other way. When I say things that sound so spiritual and good... and feel that lift of pride in my heart that God would use me.
I look at these faults and many others and I don't want the world outside my home to know they exist. But the struggles, as well as the victories are what makes me who I am. No, I am not perfect but God is and I can pray towards that. Sometimes I despair of ever being the Christian God wants me to be. That I should be with His power, grace and love!
But there are two ways to all things: the devil's way or God's way. I could despair and give up. Or, I could give it up to God and say, “Here. I don't know what to do with it. But You do.”
I don't know how to be a better person. I don't know how to stop forgetting. I don't know how to be a great impact on this world. But I do know this: giving it up to God brings the greatest joy and peace I have ever experienced... and it gets better every day. And I wish more people could experience it.
Yesterday, I stayed at home with my spots (if I was yellow and my spots black, you could mistake me for a leopard. :-P ;-)) while the others were at a church and a potluck. I was seated comfortably on the couch, reading Louis L'Amour when suddenly, someone knocked at the door. Whoever in the world? I wondered, scurrying to answer it. It turned out to be a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the men is the brother of the former owner of our place. He is in his 80's and just a bit senile, which made the visit all the more interesting. We talked small talk for the first bit, then, the other man (who was probably in his 40's) began talking about the literature they had brought.
I find this group difficult to argue with. In fact, impossible. I find they think completely different than I do, therefore the arguments I could think of have no effect. Besides, I didn't really want to argue. So I listened without agreeing or disagreeing. But all the while I was praying for wisdom. I knew God had sent those men to our door and I knew He wanted me to learn something or share something. But I had no idea what it was.
So I waited.
I can't even remember how the subject turned from their literature to where the older man, Louis, was born. But turn it did and we were suddenly talking about being born in Hungary and surviving the first world war while your father served six years on the front. The horrors that made his hands shake and his eyes turn bleak with remembering, even after all these years.
This went on for several minutes... then, the other man shifted uncomfortably and blurted out, “That's why the prophecies in scripture about the coming Kingdom of God are so important! They are all coming true. The great wars and earthly conflict.” (Forgive me, sir, for not quoting you exactly.) He went on for a few minutes as I stood there and listened, then God showed me what I was so speak.
“But to be ready for God's Kingdom, much must happen in our hearts. We must embrace His love, holiness and goodness.”
“But the Kingdom! We must prepare ourselves for the Kingdom!”
Not long after that he told me that he and Louis were not getting paid for spreading the word about the prophecies. How they were doing their good deeds through this.
I asked, “But sir, are you bringing people hope? Are you bringing them God's love?” I watched the look in the man's eyes and then, I saw it. Perhaps God did not want me to tell this man anything. Maybe He simply wanted me to look in this man's eyes and see the pain and frustration of knowing it is not enough. That in spite of his good intentions, he is without hope.
His heart wants so badly to do what is right. And he believes that he is doing what is right... in fact, he believes it so much that it has gone a little to his head. I feel for him. I can't imagine being in his position. The dedication. The many hours spent spreading what his organization tells him is right. All in vain.
I pray that the man will have seen God through me. After they left, I felt so sad because I know I can never do enough to make a difference. Then, it was like God cupped my chin with His hand and forced me to look at Him, “All things are possible with God.”
My friend Abigail wrote this: “Faith is expecting God to accomplish miracles through insignificant me with my five loaves and two fishes.”
Expecting miracles is making me continue to lift this man in prayer. Will you join me?
Can you drop a comment about how God has been working in your life lately? Or if you have a prayer request you would like me to pray about? Perhaps God has shown you something that I have missed. Will you share it with me and other readers? Or if you would like it to be private, you can drop me an email by clicking on the envelope icon at the bottom of this post.
God bless you (even if you don't leave a comment. LOL! :-D).