Sunday, April 6, 2008

...ch-ch-ch-changing




















a life-altering
encounter
with God...
time passes...
the "warm fuzzies"...
are wearing off...

and an awful confluence
of self-centeredness...and sin...
jars you into awareness...
causing your stomach...
to drop....

the sickening grip of fear...
has you firmly in it's icy grasp...

but under your growing panic...
the soft, still voice...
speaks to your soul...

He is speaking to your heart...
convicting you of sins you haven't faced up to...
at least not for a long time...

and the fear...
that comes from the realization
of the grief to come...
the pain and betrayal you have caused others
with your sin and self-centeredness...

and though He forgives you...
it is so hard to forgive yourself...
because it was the very last thing ...
you EVER intended to do...



and you feel so alone....

not because He's moved away...
but because you have...

instead of giving Him your pain...
you wrap yourself around it...
and pull away from Him...punishing yourself ...
by wallowing in your shame and guilt...



but, you don't have to stay there...
alone with your pain...
and as you reach out to Him for comfort...
He speaks again...

He tells you that you MUST trust Him...
not forgiving yourself...for everything...
that He has forgiven you for...
is to devalue everything that Jesus did for us...

you MUST accept the whole package...
that's what faith is...
to believe that which you can't see or touch...

you made promises to "be there"...
for a loved one, a family member or Jesus...
and just like Peter,who denied Jesus 3 times,
you failed... ran away... disappointed ...
or betrayed the trust placed in you...

leaving in your "wake"... anger... pain...
disbelief... shock and grief...

no wonder you have trouble "forgiving" yourself...
you don't deserve anyone's love or trust...
much less the salvation Jesus died for...
you deserve to suffer...

BTW...have you noticed the "whiff of sulphur" in the air ?

because...

your feelings of not being
"deserving of forgiveness"...
the natural grief and guilt you feel...
for the havoc you have wrought
in the lives of those you've hurt ...
AND the choice on your part to "suffer"...
trying to pay the price that Jesus already paid...
[and you NEVER could anyway...]

make "the enemy" VERY happy...



he wants you "doubting" God's faithfulness...
miserable... wallowing in your own pain and grief...
if you don't accept God's gift of salvation...
ALL of it... ALL the time...
if you try to do it "on your own"...

the enemy is ECSTATIC..

he can't win...
but, he can relish your pain...
and he will always take what he can get...


so what do you do ?

you trust God...
spending a lot of time in prayer...
and let Him change you from within...
He can...and if you let Him...
He will...

I know that this is true...
because it is happening to me now...



in the last 4 months or so...
I have been enveloped in God's redeeming love...
and then had to face "myself"...
NOT a pretty sight...

all my lifelong problems surfaced at once...
in a frenzy of self-centeredness...
causing a betrayal of trust, estrangement
and a great deal of pain...
for all concerned...

I was devastated...
on the brink of total despair...
as I tried to make some sense of it...
He spoke to me... telling me to trust Him...

all of this was happening ...for a reason...
and then...He gave me peace...

in the calm, quiet place He took me...
He began to teach me how to "rest in His love"...
then, over the ensuing weeks and months...
bit by bit... slowly...with love...
He revealed my sins against Him and His plan for me...

as I learned of each of the sins...
felt the pain they had caused others...
asked, and received His forgiveness...

something different happened...

because I had come closer to Him...
over time... praising Him for everything...
accepting His will for me ...with joy...
I found myself able to forgive myself...
letting go of a lot of guilt and shame...

He's also taught me that I needed to face my sin and pain...
and my inability to deal with them, on my own...
that only by embracing my own weakness and sin...
accepting His forgiveness... and forgiving myself...
will I ever be able to accept the weakness and sin in others...
and with acceptance...comes forgiveness...and love...

I know that I am changing...
I know that He isn't finished with me yet...
I see lifelong issues...resolved...gone...
and I know that the reason is prayer...

the prayers of a willing surrendered spirit...
the trusting prayers of a time tested relationship...
the faithful obedient prayers of loving servant spirits...

blessings undeserved...
undying gratitude...
a life transformed by love...
laid gratefully at the foot of the cross...

2 comments:

Loretta said...

A beautiful, profound reading for this Easter season. Letting go and letting God. That's my "theme" for this spring.

catsinger said...

thanks Loretta...hope you're feeling a lot better...
I've tried to link to your blog...but Blogger gets all confused and can't get there...so I go from Fran's...
or Paula's...