Thursday, March 22, 2018 – 02:41
Heavenly Father, Thank You for this day of life in Your wondrous creation. Thank You for never giving up on me, despite my rebellious, sulking, running-to-Tarshish attitude. Thank You for consistently trying to get through to me, no matter how many times I couldn’t or deliberately wouldn’t “get it.”
I pray today that we’re past all that, that this time I’m really ready to surrender it all to Your will and Your way. Which, it may be, means journaling right into a post on Sharing God’s Story blog, rather than my precious, hand-written journals. (I love handwriting – maybe too much.)
My sacred tradition:
Maybe… maybe that’s the lesson of these past few months. Old habits have crept into my life. I’ve wished for a magical change in me when all along I’ve known that the change You make/give is simply the awareness that change is possible. That I can do life differently.
Because, really, this faith and belief and trust thing is – at its very core – a choice, a decision arrived at every moment of every day of every week of every month of every year… It’s a journey every believer sets out on without knowing the destination.
The obvious answer to posting every day is to bypass the journal and write directly online. And Jonah arrived at Ninevah right on time.
PSALM 31 GW
:7 I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD BECAUSE OF YOUR MERCY.
YOU HAVE SEEN MY MISERY.
YOU HAVE KNOWN THE TROUBLES IN MY SOUL.
:10 MY LIFE IS EXHAUSTED FROM SORROW,
MY YEARS FROM GROANING.
MY STRENGTH STAGGERS UNDER THE WEIGHT OF MY GUILT,
AND MY BONES WASTE AWAY.
“The weight of my guilt.” That’s it. The problem. My problem. I just realized I’m not supposed to feel it anymore – not supposed to let it pull me down because You said I am “Holy, righteous, and redeemed.” (That’s not just a catchy lyric in a MercyMe song.)
Clinging to that guilt is a setting-myself-apart, setting myself above Your F.U.M.E.S. (Forgiveness, Understanding, Mercy, Encouragement, and Strength). The sin is pride.
Who am I to deny Your freely-given slate-clean-making grace??
Without going too far in the opposite direction of pride, consider how much I – I mean we (You and me; You in me) – have changed. I’m not the man I once was.
I’m pretty sure that I’m not supposed to forget the bad – the evil – that I did; but I’m 100% certain that I’m not supposed to let it define me. I am not that man anymore.
Father, this self-condemnation has been my biggest struggle. I’ve wanted it to be what made me “special,” even if it was in the worst sort of way. Help me to see myself as You do: as Your child, precious and unconditionally loved, gently but sternly disciplined and remade, redeemed from a life of sin.
Yes, it is important to also remember that forgiveness is not the same as not having consequences, worldly or other. I am where my choices have put me.
(And kind of on another note, all this time journaling has not been me speaking to some future human reader, but to You and to myself.)
God, I pray again for the C and H families, for the V and K families, that You bring comfort to them over their recent losses. The pain never stops with a death, it just gets transferred to the ones left behind.
I pray for K and B and N and WB and my B, that You watch over them and keep them safe today. And, yes, that You would reveal Yourself to them in every way – in any way – because we all need to know You.
Grant me the serenity, courage, and wisdom to make it through today.
In Jesus’ life-saving, life-changing, life-giving, life-fulfilling name. AMEN