Instead I got:
"Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me?''
When the knowledge comes that it is Jesus whom we
have been persecuting...it is the most
crushing revelation there could be."
(My utmost, Jan.28)
Hugs. Reassurances. An explanation of how I could have tried my best, and this is how it all was received?
All I want is unconditional love when I am at my ugliest, is that too much to ask?
And even though I recognize that the answer that is loudest in my head comes from a source that hates me, I still listen. "Check out." "You're done." "You are only making matters worse..."
"Oh, if you only had a river you could skate away on."
"There is only one answer-it's not a good one-but it is the only one."
Red flags wave as my head pounds. Where is the truth here? Where is the answer from the Lover of my soul? I'll have to intentionally stop listening to the loud-overly-eager-hater/liar, if I'm going to start listening to the still-small-loving-forgiving-wisdom-filled voice of truth. So...here goes...
The enemy wants me to focus inward. To analyze my every thought and hurt. To sit here and wait for someone to come along and scoop me up and distract me from this quite unappealing revelation of self. (either that, or have myself put to sleep)
But God wants me to face it. Look it full in the face and acknowledge it:
My best efforts are CRAP.
(and so are yours, btw)
I think maybe after you've been a Christian for as long as I have, the thought creeps in that, now that I am redeemed, my best efforts are godly...untainted. That, since I attempt to devote myself to knowing God and loving and helping other people, I am no longer a part of the problem. But I am. And if my best efforts could change that, then Jesus would not have needed to die on that cross. And survival of the spiritual fittest would be the gateway to heaven.
But Jesus is the gate. And not to keep us out, but to stand guard over us, when that wolf has his sites set on our furry little hides.
Bottom line-the world is broken and I am an ongoing contributor to that. I am fragile and clumsy (a really bad combo) and I live among the fragile and clumsy. We will hurt each other along the way-even when we are trying our darnedest not to.
"We imagine we understand where the other person is,
Where does the hope come from then? The same place as always. At the cross.
"Where the wrongs we have done
May I never again forget the perfect work of the cross.
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord"(Gal. 6:14)
May , "I consider everything else a loss compared..." to the cross (Phil 3:8)
So...the glimpse of me that the enemy intended to take me out with, my Daddy-God intended to strengthen and grow me with. But even if "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger", no matter how strong I get, I will not fall for the enemies flattery. (with the intention of puffing me up, so that he can do the honors of deflating me later) I will instead remember:
"Little ones to Him belong,
Yes, Jesus loves me..."
Yes, Jesus loves you. He loves all of our weak little furry/mangy hides.
All I want is unconditional love when I am at my ugliest. Is that too much to ask?