Have you ever been really sad? I mean heart-broken, heart-wrenchingly miserable, so completely wretched with sorrow that your voice can not express it and the only thing to be heard is the wordless wailing of your soul?
Have you ever been that sorry over something you’ve done?
Can you feel that way on purpose?
I’m all too familiar with this feeling, both from things I perceive done to me and from my own regretted words and actions. But, as a Christ-follower, it is an emotion I seek daily, as the opening note in my song of crying out to God. I want to be heart-torn, in preparation for His reparation.
Tear your hearts,
not your clothes.
Come back to the Lord your God.
He is kind and merciful.
He does not become angry quickly.
He has great love…
Joel 2:13 ERV
Humility begins with my acceptance about who I have been, who I am, and who I can be in Christ. It recognizes my ongoing, desperate need for God’s forgiveness, understanding, mercy, encouragement, and strength (Running On Fumes, 4/12/16). When I can sincerely reach this agonizing point, I am ready to listen to Him and to fully commit to His path for the day.
But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done.
Isaiah 43:25 CEV
I say I daily search for this, and I do mean that, these days as a believer, it is not so much a sensation found as it is achieved by my morning practices of prayer, meditation, journaling, and Bible-reading. (Would that make them ‘mourning’ practices?) God has promised to forget my sins, but my past is what has made me what I am today, and it will continue to shape me for tomorrow. In other words, knowing who I have been motivates me to strive to be who I could be.
In truth, what I yearn for is the incredible passion of those first encounters with God’s redeeming love; the so-called “mountain-top” experiences. I worry that with anything less I will fall short of realizing my true condition. I fear that pride in myself – in thinking that I have accomplished anything – will creep in and dilute me, will weaken my stance. But this is the leap of faith I must take. It is simple trust in what God says. It is the belief in the unseen. It is faith.
…Maybe He will change His mind about the bad punishment He planned.
(the last line of Joel 2:13 ERV)
Want another way to think of it? It is the confidence with which one approaches a daunting operation, like open-heart surgery. I put my life fully in the surgeon’s hands. I had to be assured that God’s will would be done.
(Image: early 2015, about 6-8 weeks after the surgery)
And I want to know that every day.