It’s not you; it’s me. It really is. There are days I feel that everything going wrong in my life is most certainly my fault. My past, my sin, my guilt, climb up on a rooftop waiting for me to pass by so they can drop down like a ton of bricks onto my heart. And I am paralyzed by the weight, barely able to breathe, let alone do anything about moving on. Despair takes hold of my very bones, feeling like it is deliberately breaking every single one of them. And I weep. I have to. There is nothing else to do.
Or is there.
Laden with guilt, and full of fears,
I fly to Thee, my Lord,
And not a glimpse of hope appears
But in Thy written Word.
The volume of my Father’s grace
Does all my griefs assuage;
Here I behold my Savior’s face in every page
– Isaac Watts
I won’t pretend to be all spiritual. My first reaction to despair or sorrow or rejection is not always to look to God and His Word. In fact, there are times the last place I want to go look is in the Bible. You know the mood – quote Proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6 to me one more time and I swear I will kick a puppy.
But when the anger and pride turn to grief and fear, my heart begins to yearn for what I know to be true – that all our fountains are in God. Any good thing and all needful things come from His hand and flow from His heart. And it is in the written words of life where I see how many before me ran the race – at times tripping, falling flat on their faces, screwing up everything royally, but also at times being faithful and sticking the landing and following through no matter how long and treacherous the road – and that same Spirit and Grace which carried the great cloud of witnesses also carries me. I have no other hope. And so I fly to Him. I watch Him pick up the pieces and I feel Him hold me in his arms and say it’s all right, Daddy is here. I love you. I forgave you. I wiped the slate clean. I give you new life and my Spirit to help you live it.
My daughter had a rough night last night. She had been sleeping through the night for 7-9 hours. But for some reason lately she is waking up and fussing. Last night she cried for 15 minutes straight and couldn’t get it together. My dear husband stayed up with her and tried to console her. We woke up this morning and she was happy as a lark.
Sometimes it takes a dark night. Sometimes it takes weeping and screaming and kicking. And then the morning comes and it’s a new day and grace shines down on us. We get another day to try again, to let our Father put us back aright and make us laugh. We get a day to feel His grace anew, to learn to love Him more, and to learn to receive and live in that love which we so easily forget is there for the asking. And the guilt and fear melt away. Slowly sometimes. Like snow trying to melt in 30 degree weather. But as we rest more and more in God’s love and His care for us, as we learn to trust Him more and give up our own desires and ambitions, as we let His goodness melt the clouds of sin and sadness and drive the dark of doubt away, He gives us His gladness and replaces our heart of stone and death with warmth and life. and NOW you can quote Proverbs and I will say a full-hearted Amen!